Team USA Ambassador Program participants pose in front of olympic team logo
Photo by: USOPC

The Team USA Ambassador Program, launched in advance of the Beijing 2008 Games, aims to prepare U.S. athletes for the Games environment in their pursuit of competitive excellence, as well as to empower them as Team USA ambassadors and stewards of the Olympic and Paralympic ideals. Participation in the course is mandatory for all U.S. athletes prior to competing at the Games and more than 3,600 athletes – from Olympic and Paralympic veterans to newcomers – have completed the program since its inception.

The 2020 program will be offered to athletes in two parts – an online course and an in-person session. The interactive online course is designed to introduce athletes to the ambassador program’s main themes and topics, which will then be expanded upon during the in-person session. Topics and themes include a Games overview, how to handle distractions, ways to maximize their positions as role models and embracing the opportunity to create a lasting, impactful legacy. The in-person session features presentations and inspirational talks from respected veteran Olympic and Paralympic athlete ambassadors, who are able to communicate their experiences athlete to athlete.

The Team USA Ambassador Program instills a sense of pride and awareness in representing Team USA, and further encourages U.S. athletes to handle themselves with grace, composure and awareness both on and off the field of play. This has been a part of the Olympic/Paralympic journey for all U.S. athletes who strive to inspire Americans and contribute to making the world a better place through sport.

Athlete resources:

Many U.S. Olympians and Paralympians take an active role in spreading Olympism throughout communities across the country. Below is an abbreviated list of athletes and the foundations they have created, supporting Olympic education and encouraging youth to live a healthy and active lifestyle.

Steve Mesler, bobsled - Classroom Champions
Classroom Champions connects top performing athletes with students in high-need schools using video lessons and live video chat to motivate students to recognize their potential, set goals and dream big, while educating them in the practical use of communications technology.

Shannon Miller, gymnastics- Shannon Miller Foundation
The Shannon Miller Foundation is dedicated to fighting childhood obesity through education and awareness, offering children the opportunity to be physically active, and gain greater nutritional knowledge. The Shannon Miller Running Club sponsors a free in-school program in the Jacksonville, Florida area that supports more than 7,000 children ages 5 through 14.

Tim Morehouse, fencing- Fencing in the Schools
Fencing in the Schools is an educational organization whose mission to “Empower youth to achieve excellence through the sport of fencing,” is carried out by bringing the sport of fencing to schools around the country to fight childhood obesity, foster the Olympic ideals and improve educational opportunities for youth.

Michael Phelps, swimming - Michael Phelps Foundation 
The Michael Phelps Foundation is a nonprofit organization focused on growing the sport of swimming and promoting healthy and active lives, especially for children.

If you would like to share another Athlete Community Program with the U.S. Olympic Academy, please email

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