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The Olympic Champions of Giving

By: Dr. Mimi Nartey, Co-Founder and Executive Director of The Nartey Sports Foundation |

The Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics just ended, and the United States was hugely successful.  After 17 days of competition, the United States finished with the most medals won overall and the most gold medals in the Olympic Games.  With 39 Olympic gold medals, the U.S. barely edged out China, which won 38. The United States won an additional 104 medals at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.  The team took home 37 gold medals, 36 silver medals, and 31 bronze medals, making them the fourth best ranked team at the Paralympics.

While there was so much inspiration to draw from the performances on the fields, tracks, and courts, there is another side to these athletes that makes them truer champions that we may realize.  So many of the Olympians and Paralympians are giving back in ways that will transform their talent into a legacy.  Here are a few notable profiles:

Perry Baker | Rugby

World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year in 2017 and 2018, Baker reverted to rugby after a brief football career.  Not only is Barker a standout athlete, but he is also an upstanding community citizen who has participated in charity work with the Special Olympics. He is dedicated to giving back to his community and has spent his time reading to local children and even refereeing youth basketball games.

Simone Biles | Gymnastics

Biles is arguably the greatest gymnast of all time.  She had not been defeated in the all-around since 2013.  Most of the recent sports media coverage about Biles focused on her abrupt decision to leave the competition while grieving the death of her aunt.  Despite dealing with that loss, she took home a silver and bronze medal.  Off the mat, Biles has been a champion for others over the past several years. In 2017, she personally volunteered in the aftermath of the devastation left by Hurricane Harvey.  She recently drafted an op-ed on the importance of creating opportunities for foster youth, reflecting on her own experience as a foster child.  She announced a scholarship to support foster youth attending an online college, University of the People.  Biles also continues to leverage her platform to drive change around social justice issues related to gender inequality, racism and abuse.  Since announcing that she had been the victim of sexual abuse, she has worked to create safe spaces and support for other victims.  In a 2020 Vogue interview she said, “I think of it as an honor to speak for the less fortunate and for the voiceless.”

Katie Ledecky | Swimming

A powerhouse in the pool, Katie Ledecky won her first gold at the age of 15 in 2012 and won four more in 2016.  She won two gold medals and two silver medals in Tokyo. Ledecky tirelessly contributes to charitable work as well. She is involved with Catholic Charities, Shepherd’s Table, Bikes for the World, and the Wounded Warriors Project at Walter Reed Bethesda Naval Medical Center.

Megan Rapinoe | Soccer

Rapinoe, at 35, is one of the most veteran members of the U.S. national team.  She won the Golden Ball and Golden Boot at the 2019 World Cup.  Over the past several years, she has become a major social justice advocate and philanthropist.  She pledges part of her salary to Common Goal, which supports soccer-centered charities around the world. She works with the ACLU, has partnered with the Seattle-area Boys and Girls Clubs and is an ambassador for Athlete Ally, which opposes homophobia in sports. In 2013, she was awarded the board of directors Award by the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center.

Scout Bassett | Paralympic Track and Field

Bassett is a two-time world championship medalist in the 100 meters and the long jump.  Abandoned in China as a baby after losing her leg and suffering severe burns, she was adopted by a couple in Michigan and brought to the United States in 1995.  In a recent interview with InStyle Magazine, she said, “I’m a woman, I have a disability, I’m an immigrant, I’m Asian. I cross so many of these intersectionalities and to be sort of a face, or a voice, is a responsibility that I don’t take lightly.” She is an ambassador for the Challenged Athletes Foundation, and she is now featured in Whistle Sports’ “No Days Off” docuseries.

Sources Cited

Posted by thesesociety_0md1v7 in Newsletter

Amalfi Coast: Luxury Experiences in one of the world’s most sought-after destinations.

Located in the beating heart of southern Italy, Amalfi Coast is a one-of-a-kind destination. This place feels like time has stopped there. You’ll still be able to see cars and scooters from the 50s, cheekily flying around the small alleys and intricate coastal roads. The scenery is very traditional and picturesque, but Amalfi is home to some of the most incredible luxury experiences you could dream of. The world-famous Santa Caterina hotel is one of them. I had the opportunity to spend several nights in this beautiful establishment with my wife last summer, and our stay was unforgettable.

One of the most luxurious things about the stay at the hotel was the fact that the establishment has its own private bathing deck. This means that you can get out of bed, head down to the elevators (or walk down some steep stairs, if you feel like moving), and enjoy a day by the water without ever needing to leave your hotel. This was truly amazing for us. Not only was it incredibly comfortable to have the best umbrellas and beach sofas, but it was great to have quiet and privacy, not to mention being able to bathe in crystal-clear water without having to go to a crowded beach (something we definitely wanted to avoid, as by then the COVID-19 threat was looming around the corner). One of the most amazing things about the hotel’s beach club is that they built a pool parallel to the ocean filled with seawater. This is perfect for people who feel safer in a pool environment, rather than being out in the sea – the water is quite deep at around 12 meters, and some people might feel uncomfortable with that. Thankfully, the pool offers the same beautiful scenery and seawater so that you won’t be giving up on the experience of bathing in the Mediterranean.

The hotel itself is just gorgeous. The historical building is perfectly maintained, located on the side of a very steep cliff, diving down into the beautiful “mare,” as the locals call the sea. The rooms weren’t particularly large compared to some of the suites you can find in major cities like London or New York. However, they were still plenty of space, and the brightness of the Italian decor made everything feel more open. There were so many incredible details in the rooms, such as hand-painted floors, as well as a marble bathroom, not to mention the view overlooking the whole coast.

The service was impeccable. You can order food and drink by the water, and room service is also a possibility if you feel like staying in for a private dinner – but why would you? The hotel is home to Glicine, a Micheline-starred restaurant located right in the main building. This was one of the best food experiences we had the chance to try during our stay, and it had a high-end atmosphere that matched the world-class cuisine provided. We always try to taste local food when we travel, so we were happy to see that the menu reflected some of the best-known local specialties. You can’t beat the seafood here, and the produce was as fresh as it got. Breakfast was terrific as well, with plenty of international options for guests who want more choice. While we loved Glicine, the hotel also has another restaurant located at sea level, aptly named “Al Mare,” which means “By The Sea.” The food here was also incredible, and perhaps even a bit more to my taste since it had a bit more of a traditional feel while still maintaining its luxurious vibe and excellent service. The atmosphere was a bit more casual, and there is nothing that can beat the experience of eating a world-class lunch right on the water in one of the most beautiful places in the world. I’ll have to admit we didn’t do a lot of drinking and late-night partying in the hotel, but I noticed that they had a fantastic wine cellar, with some extremely rare bottles as well. The cafè was also stunning, and the service there was kind and attentive, always happy to accommodate requests.

Find out more and check out the hotel’s website for more information about the luxury experiences it offers at

Posted by thesesociety_0md1v7 in Luxury Travel