Our Ambassadors and Academy Members

Laureus World Sports Academy Members and Laureus Ambassadors are accomplished athletes who volunteer their time to support our mission. They truly believe in sport’s ability to change lives for the better. By attending our events, visiting programs and speaking to the press, they help bring new awareness to sport as a tool for social change.

More than 60 sporting legends make up the Laureus World Sports Academy, led by Chairman and rugby legend Sean Fitzpatrick. More than 200 champion athletes have also pledged as Laureus Ambassadors. They all share a belief in the power of sport to break down barriers, inspire change and improve the lives of young people around the world.

For questions about our Athlete Ambassador program, please contact athletes@laureus.com

Laureus World Sports Academy Members (Based in the US)

Tony Hawk


At age 12, Tony Hawk began winning amateur contests, at 14 he turned pro, and at 16 he was widely regarded as the best competitive skateboarder in the world. By the time he was 25, he had competed in 103 pro contests, winning 73 of them and placing second in 19 competitions. He was crowned Vertical Skating’s World Champion 12 years in a row. Considered one of the most successful and influential pioneers of modern skateboarding, Tony was the first skater to land a “900” — a trick involving the completion of two-and-a-half mid-air revolutions on a skateboard. In 2009, he was inducted into the Skateboarding Hall of Fame.

Nadia Comaneci


At the 1976 Montreal Summer Olympics, Nadia Comaneci became the first female gymnast to be awarded a perfect score of 10 in an Olympic gymnastics event. By the end of the 1976 games, she would earn seven perfect 10s, three gold medals, one bronze, and one silver medal. Four years later at the 1980 Moscow Summer Olympics, Nadia earned two more gold medals and two silver medals, bringing her Olympic total to nine medals — five gold, three silver, and one bronze. In 1996, Nadia was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame.

To help raise money and awareness for our mission, Nadia recently walked the runway at our Fashion Show Gala:

Marcus Allen


Over the course of his career, Marcus Allen scored 145 touchdowns, including a then league record 123 rushing touchdowns, and was elected to six Pro Bowls. He was the first player ever to gain more than 10,000 rushing yards and 5,000 receiving yards during his career. Marcus won the Heisman Trophy, an NCAA national championship, the Super Bowl, and was named NFL MVP and Super Bowl MVP. Marcus has been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

As a Laureus Academy Member, Marcus has attended many of community events in New Orleans:

Edwin Moses

Track & Field

Edwin Moses is a three-time Olympian who won gold medals in the 400-meter hurdles at both the 1976 and 1984 Olympics. Between 1977 and 1987, Edwin won 107 consecutive finals and set the world record in his event four times. In addition to running, Edwin has been an innovative reformer in the areas of Olympic eligibility and drug testing, and he serves as Chairman of the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). In 1994, Edwin received an MBA from Pepperdine University and was inducted into the National Track and Field Hall of Fame. In 2000, he was elected the first Chairman of the Laureus World Sports Academy.

As a Laureus Academy Member and our chairman, Edwin recently spoke at our Youth Leadership Summit in Atlanta:

Mark Spitz


Mark Spitz is a nine-time Olympic champion and former world record-holder in seven events. Between 1968 and 1972, Mark won nine Olympic gold medals: a silver and a bronze; five Pan American gold medals; 31 AAU titles; and eight NCAA titles. During those years, he set 35 world records — two were in trials and unofficial.

Martina Navratilova


With a career spanning four decades, Martina Navratilova is widely regarded as the greatest female tennis player of all time. She won an unprecedented 59 Grand Slam titles, including a record nine Wimbledon singles championships; 167 singles and 177 doubles championships. Martina was the Women Tennis Association’s (WTA) “Tour Player of the Year” seven times, named the Associated Press’s “Female Athlete of the Year,” and was declared one of the “Top 40 Athletes of All Time” by Sports Illustrated. After being inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame, she continued to compete in WTA events and the 2004 Olympic Games. In 2006, at the age of 50, she became the oldest player to ever win a Grand Slam title as a mixed-doubles champion at the US Open.


Marvelous Marvin Hagler


Marvelous Marvin Hagler was the undisputed World Middleweight Champion from 1980 to 1987. He made 12 undisputed title defenses and holds the highest knockout percentage of all undisputed middleweight champions, at 78 percent. He is an inductee of the International Boxing Hall of Fame and of the World Boxing Hall of Fame.

Michael Johnson

Track & Field

Michael Johnson won four Olympic gold medals and eight World Championships gold medals. He formerly held the world and Olympic records in the 200-meter and 400-meter, as well as the world record in the indoor 400-meter. He is the only male athlete in history to win both the 200-meter and 400-meter events at the same Olympics — the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. He also held the world’s best time at 300-meter. Considered one of the greatest and most consistent sprinters in the history of track and field, Michael was elected to the United States Track and Field Hall of Fame in 2004.

Monica Seles


The youngest-ever French Open Champion at the age of 16, Monica Seles went on to win eight Grand Slam singles titles before her 20th birthday (nine in total.) She was the year-end World Number 1 in 1991 and 1992.

Missy Franklin


Missy Franklin is a five-time Olympic gold medalist in swimming. She won gold at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, adding to her four gold medals from the 2012 Olympics in London. In her career, she has earned a total of 11 World Championship titles, as well as four individual NCAA titles. 

She is the youngest ever Laureus Academy Member, and has helped amplify sport as a tool for social change by visiting programs and speaking at our events.

In September 2018, Missy participated in our Day of Action, inspiring youth from Laureus-supported programs in New York City:

Laureus Ambassadors (Based in the US)

Kelly Clark


Kelly Clark is a five-time Olympian and a three-time medalist, winning a gold medal for women’s halfpipe at the 2002 Winter Olympics and competing in the halfpipe event again in the 2006 Winter Olympics. She won a bronze medal in the halfpipe in both the 2010 Vancouver Games and the 2014 Sochi Games. Kelly has made 15 X Games appearances and holds six US Open Titles.

Allyson Felix

Track & Field

Allyson Felix is the most decorated track and field athlete in history and the only female track and field athlete to ever win six Olympic gold medals and a total of nine Olympic medals, winning a silver medal in Athens in 2004, gold and silver medals in Beijing in 2008, three gold medals in the 2012 London Olympic Games, and following it up with two more gold medals and another silver medal in Rio in 2016. The 2012 US Olympic 4×100-meter team set the women’s 4×100-meter world-record that still stands. Allyson is also the most decorated athlete in IAAF World Championships history with 16 career medals. She is a participant in Project Believe, a voluntary drug-testing program which goes beyond the normal drug-testing requirements to protect clean athletes

Danilo Gallinari


An Italian professional basketball player, currently playing for the LA Clippers, Danilo Gallinari was picked sixth overall in the 2008 NBA Draft. He was selected to the Sophomores team in the 2010 T-Mobile Rookie Challenge at NBA All-Star weekend in Dallas. He participated in the 2010 Foot Locker Three-Point Contest at All-Star weekend in Dallas, finishing fourth. Active in the community, he participated in the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders goodwill tour to Senegal, Africa, in August 2010.

Chamique Holdsclaw


Chamique Holdsclaw is a three-time NCAA Champion, six-time WNBA All-Star, and Olympic Gold medalist. Holdsclaw played for the University of Tennessee, and is the all-time leading scoring and rebounder in SEC women’s history. In 2000, she was named Naismith’s Player of the Century for the 1990s and was part of an ESPY award given to the Lady Vols as Co-Team of the Decade for the 1990s. In 1996, 1997 and 1998, Chamique was named to the Final Four All-Tournament team.

As a Laureus Ambassador, Chamique has attended the launch of Sport for Good Atlanta:

Chris Paul


An NBA All-Star point guard, who currently plays for the Houston Rockets, Chris Paul has won the NBA Rookie of the Year Award, an NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award, and two Olympic gold medals. He led the NBA in assists four times and steals six times, being the all-time NBA leader in the latter category. Chris also has been selected to nine NBA All-Star teams, eight All-NBA teams, and nine NBA All-Defensive teams. Since 2014, he has served as the President of the National Basketball Players Association.

As a Laureus Ambassador, Chris spoke at our 2018 Summit:

Bob Lujano

Paralympic Rugby

Bob Lujano is an international public speaker who covers the topics of independence, disability, competitive sports, physical fitness, and the benefits of a healthy active lifestyle. He is a member of the Lakeshore Demolition wheelchair rugby team, which has five United States Quad Rugby Association (USQRA) National Championships (1998–2003). Bob was selected to the US Paralympic Rugby Team, and he won a bronze medal at the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens. In April 2014, Bob was elected as the President of the USQRA.

Malcolm Mitchell


Malcolm Mitchell is the rookie who helped the New England Patriots win Super Bowl LI. A native of Valdosta, Georgia, as a high school senior, Malcolm was an Under Armour All-American and went on to finish in the top ten all time receivers during his playing career at the University of Georgia (UGA). He’s also the founder of an initiative called Read with Malcolm, which introduces book ownership to students, and works to improve literacy in schools. Malcolm’s Share the Magic Foundation promotes the benefits of reading to kids in underserved communities. As the New England Patriots Summer Reading Ambassador, he encourages summer reading. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia. He is currently working with Fox to debut a TV show “Football Book Club” based on his experience joining a book club in Athens, GA. Malcolm’s inspirational story has been featured nationally on CBS Evening News, CBS Sunday Morning, CBS Sports, ESPN, USA Today, CNN, MSNBC and the NFL Network and has been used by many schools as encouragement for students to embrace the importance of reading

Alonzo Mourning


Alonzo Mourning holds an Olympic gold medal from the 2000 Olympics and the 2006 NBA Title with the Miami Heat. Inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2014, Alonzo still works in player development for the Heat.

Paul Rabil


A pioneer and disruptor in sports, Paul Rabil is a professional lacrosse player, entrepreneur and co-founder & President of the Premier Lacrosse League. He has influenced the sport at every level, winning championships and MVP’s both collegiately and professionally, as well as becoming a two-time World Lacrosse Champion with Team USA.

In his newest effort to grow the game by increasing on-field access to lacrosse, Rabil has announced his latest initiative, Goals for Greatness, where he has committed to resourcing lacrosse goals in all 50 states, beginning in 2022, and recurring every year thereafter. In 2023, Rabil will be working to extend his endeavor internationally, supporting the latest International Olympic Committee (IOC) announcement, which voted to grant full recognition of lacrosse to its membership. Rabil hopes that lacrosse will be included in the Olympics when it’s hosted in Los Angeles this 2028.

Having grown up with an Auditory Processing Disorder and ADHD, Rabil started the Paul Rabil Foundation in 2011 to help children with learning differences by creating programs and partnerships through sport and scholarship. Rabil has also volunteered extensively with Harlem Lacrosse through the Premier Lacrosse League’s community arm, PLL Assists. Harlem Lacrosse actively recruits special education students and students identified by school administrators as most vulnerable to academic decline and school dropout. As a result, the program serves high poverty and special education students at rates that surpass those of their standard school sites.

Felix Sanchez

Track & Field 

Felix Sanchez is a two-time Olympic gold medalist in the 400-meter hurdles, winning gold medals in 2004 and 2012. He also holds the 2001 and 2003 World Championship title in the 400-meter hurdles. Just before turning 36, Felix set the Masters M35 World Record with a time of 48.10. An American by birth, he is of Dominican descent and competed for the Dominican Republic. He earned two of the three Olympic gold medals ever won by an athlete from the Dominican Republic.

Lance Thomas


Currently a team captain and forward New York Knicks, Lance Thomas won the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship with Duke University in 2010. Lance also won a bronze medal playing for the US Basketball Team at the Pan American Games in 2011.

As a Laureus Ambassador, Lance has attended many of our events, and recently met with youth in New York City:

Terron Armstead


Terron is an American football offensive tackle for the New Orleans Saints of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Saints in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft. He played college football at Arkansas–Pine Bluff. Armstead was named HBCU Top 30 Under 30, in 2014 and a Pro-Bowler in 2018. He founded the Terron Armstead Foundation with the mission to empower a generation of young people, with the necessary tools needed to become leaders in our community and the world. He is currently a team captain. He has also been recognized by the NFL and the Saints organization for his contributions off the field being named the New Orleans Saints Man of the Year in 2019 and being nominated for the Walter Payton Man of the Year in 2019.

Jamie Bestwick


Competing since 1996, Jamie Bestwick is a dominating force in BMX Vert. He has won a record-breaking nine consecutive Vert titles at X Games before his silver medal finish in 2015. He holds 12 of the 22 BMX Vert gold medals awarded in X Games history.

Mike Jankowski

Skiing and Snowboarding Coach

Known as “Coach Janks,” Mike Jankowski has successfully coached athletes to 19 Olympic medals and 20 X Games medals. He is currently the Halfpipe, Slopestyle and Big Air Head Coach, U.S. Snowboard Team


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