United States Olympic & Paralympic Foundation announces 2022 award recipients for Team USA Community Champions in partnership with Comcast
The United States Olympic & Paralympic Foundation, in partnership with the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee and Comcast, today announced its 2022 award recipients for Team USA Community Champions, awarding four $25,000 grants to four honorees.
Team USA Community Champions celebrates the commitment of U.S. Olympians, Paralympians and hopefuls to serving and bettering communities through nonprofit work. Half of each grant is directed to the athlete’s nonprofit of choice, while half is awarded to the athlete.
The 2022 honorees include Mary Cain (Atalanta NYC), Kelsey Dickinson (Women Ski Coaches Association), Tyler Merren (U.S. Association of Blind Athletes) and Billy Mills (Running Strong for American Indian Youth).
“We are in awe of Mary, Kelsey, Tyler and Billy, not just for their impressive athletic achievements, but for their dedication to enriching their communities,” said USOPF President Christine Walshe. “Our Team USA Community Champions show us the meaning of service and the difference we can make in the lives of others. We hope that their efforts inspire others to do what they can to make a positive impact in their own communities.”
The 2022 grant cycle comprised nearly 100 athlete applicants, 77% of which are currently competing athletes and 71% of which competed at an Olympic or Paralympic Games. The four winners were selected from a competitive pool of 22 finalists.
- Mary Cain, a track and field athlete transitioning to the sport of triathlon, founded Atalanta NYC in 2021. Atalanta NYC is a New York City-based nonprofit that employs and supports professional female runners so they can achieve their highest athletic goals while building their career skills. The organization also gives back to the next generation of runners by serving as mentors to girls in underserved parts of New York.
- Kelsey Dickinson is a biathlete and a volunteer with the Women Ski Coaches Association. The WSCA works to develop, retain and advance women in ski coaching leadership. In addition to her service to the WSCA, Dickinson is also a Gender Equity Ambassador for the International Biathlon Union and an ambassador for Athlete Ally.
- Tyler Merren is a member of the U.S. Goalball National Team, and he serves as a volunteer with the U.S. Association of Blind Athletes. USABA empowers Americans who are blind and visually impaired to experience life-changing opportunities in sports, recreation and physical activities. Merren has been a volunteer with the organization for over 20 years, and he is dedicated to ensuring that visually impaired athletes have accessible training opportunities.
- Billy Mills, a legendary track and field athlete who won the 10,000-meter gold medal at the Olympic Games Tokyo 1964, co-founded Running Strong for American Indian Youth to meet the critical needs of Native communities, foster cultural identity development and support Native youth in pursuit of their dreams. Mills has been active in outreach and fundraising for the organization for more than 30 years.
Initially established in 2021 as the Team USA Service & Hope Award, it is now presented under the new name of Team USA Community Champions to better align with the award’s spirit and intent to celebrate Team USA athletes making a difference in their communities. Comcast, a U.S. Olympic and Paralympic sponsor and Founding Partner of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Los Angeles 2028, is the official partner of the Team USA Community Champions award.
“Comcast is proud to support the Team USA Community Champions award and congratulates the 2022 recipients,” said Jessica Muir, senior director of brand partnerships & amplification at Comcast. “These remarkable athletes exemplify what it truly means to be a champion. By shining a light on their wonderful accomplishments and impact on their communities, we hope to inspire future generations - the Team of Tomorrow.”Applications for the 2023 award are now being accepted through April 17, 2023. To apply, please visit go.teamusa.org/CommunityChampionsApp. For more information on Team USA Community Champions in partnership with Comcast, visit TeamUSA.org.