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Yuna Kim - Champion Figure Skater & UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador
Yuna Kim is the first figure skater from Korea to win an International Skating Union Championship as well as the first Korean figure skater to medal at the Olympic Games, capturing the Gold Medal at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. She has been called a "Queen on Ice" for her figure skating grace, and is a superstar in her native South Korea. Kim announced she would donate her 2011 World Figure Skating Championships silver prize money to children affected by the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. She has urged continued support for the children in Haiti Haiti and Haiti's earthquake victims, and speaks out for children with disabilities as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.
Marta – Football Superstar and UN Development Programme Goodwill Ambassador
Marta Vieira da Silva is a world-renowned Brazilian football (soccer) player who has won five consecutive FIFA World Player of the Year awards and has been compared to legendary player Pele. Her big break came at 14, when she tried out for a professional women’s team in Rio de Janeiro. This gave Marta the chance to leave her poor neighborhood behind, as well as the local boys who discriminated against her because she was a girl. Marta intends to become more involved in social projects and serves as a United Nations Development Programme Goodwill Ambassador so she can give people a message of hope. In this video, she offers a message about recovery in the Philippines after the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013.
Bethany Hamilton - Professional Surfer & Author
Bethany Hamilton entered her first surf competition at the age of eight in her home state of Hawaii. When she was 13, Hamilton was attacked by a 14-foot tiger shark that severed her left arm. The courageous young surfer stunned everyone with her positive attitude and spirit. Just one month after the attack, she returned to the water to pursue her goal of becoming a professional surfer, winning her first National Title at the 2005 NSSA National Championships. Hamilton has written several books including her autobiography "Soul Surfer," which made her a New York Times #1 Best-Selling Author and was made into a movie in 2011. She has launched her own foundation, Friends of Bethany, and is involved in several charitable foundations. Hamilton hopes to be a beacon of inspiration and hope for others.
Gabrielle "Gabby" Douglas - Gymnast and Gold-Medal Winning Olympian
Gabby Douglas charmed audiences at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, winning the 16-year-old gymnast a gold medal with team USA, as well as the in the individual all-around event. Douglas also made sports history, becoming the first African American to achieve the individual gold medal. In 2013, Douglas lent her support to a Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids®, a resource for shopping for children with special needs. Through her support of the Toys"R"Us Guide, she is also helping to cheer on aspiring Special Olympics athletes.
Chrissie Wellington - Triathete, Four-Time World Ironman Champion & Author
Chrissie Wellington believes sport has tremendous power and can be a force for considerable change. As a young girl growing up in Norfolk, England, Wellington tried various sports in school, including gymnastics and swimming. After earning a degree in Geography, Wellington's travels inspired her to pursue a career in international development. She completed her MA at the University of Manchester and worked for the British government as an international development advisor, and later at a non-governmental organization in Nepal. Today, she hopes her status as a champion Ironman triathlete will help raise the profile of issues that are important to her, and encourages everyone to support organizations that are meaningful to them. She has overcome anorexia and bulimia and in 2012 released her autobiography "A Life Without Limits: A World Champion's Journey."
Did You Know????
The IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawai’i, USA is considered to be the world's most prestigious triathlon featuring swimming, bicycling and marathon racing all in a single day.
Lydia (Bogyung) Ko - Professional Golfer
Teenage sensation Lydia Ko started playing golf at the age of five. As an amateur, she won four professional tournaments, including the 2012 and 2013 CN Canadian Women’s Open, making her the youngest Champion in LPGA History. The Korea-born, New Zealand-bred golfer turned professional in October 2013, at the age of sixteen. In this video from Golfing World, Ko discusses her decision.
Venus & Serena Williams – Tennis Champions, Designers, Entrepreneurs, Team Co-Owners
Venus Williams and her sister Serena Williams are tennis legends who have excelled far beyond the tennis courts. Both have degrees in design and have launched their own clothing lines as well as teamed on collections with global brands. Venus also launched interior design firm V Starr, where she is CEO. Both sisters became part-owners of the National Football League’s Miami Dolphins in 2009, making them the first female African-Americans to hold an ownership stake in a NFL franchise. At the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, Venus and Serena teamed to win the women's doubles gold medal match. Serena also won the singles gold medal after winning the four major tennis tournaments, a rare achivement known as the "Golden Slam." The sisters are both active philanthropists, which includes "Mending Hearts and Building Futures" with the Serena Williams Foundation.
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