P&G recognises athletes for acts of good during Olympic Games Tokyo 2020

Worldwide Olympic Partner P&G has extended its support for athletes who are helping to make a positive change in the world by recognising two Olympians who have demonstrated acts of good during the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. 


US swimmer Erica Sullivan was acknowledged for bringing awareness to minority groups, including the LGBTQ+ community, after winning silver in the women’s 1,500m freestyle, while Tongan taekwondo athlete Pita Taufatofua was recognised for supporting his fellow athletes with counselling and advice during Tokyo 2020.

Taufatofua, who has 15 years of volunteer experience in the youth mental health space, publicly recognised the immense amount of pressure that athletes are put under when competing at an elite level and invited Olympians in Tokyo to reach out to him. His call to action resulted in hundreds of exchanges with athletes, both via social media and in person at the Games.

P&G is donating two grants to the chosen charities of Sullivan and Taufatofua, in recognition of their efforts to use their Olympic Games platform to serve and support others in Tokyo.

Erica Sullivan (L) Pita Taufatofua (R)  Erica Sullivan (L) Pita Taufatofua (R) - 2021 Getty Images

These grants follow the successful launch of the Athletes for Good Fund, which was established in partnership with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and International Paralympic Committee (IPC) earlier this year.

Inspired by the selfless actions of Olympic and Paralympic athletes around the world who step up and serve others, the Athletes for Good Fund aims to support the causes they champion and the work they do to drive positive change in their communities.

In the lead-up to Tokyo 2020, the Fund awarded more than USD 500,000 in grants to support non-profits chosen by 52 athletes chasing their Olympic and Paralympic dreams.

During the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, P&G hosted a virtual panel discussion featuring Sullivan and three Athletes for Good Fund grant recipients, who shared their desire to use their platforms for good.

Co-hosted by Olympic gymnastics gold medallist Nastia Liukin (USA) and freestyle skiing silver medallist Gus Kenworthy (USA), the discussion honoured the work of those athletes who lend their time, talent and resources to charitable causes they believe in.

Skateboarder Mariah Duran (USA) was among the recipients who shared their inspiring stories. Having experienced first-hand the intimidation of competing in a male-dominated sport with few female mentors, Duran serves as a role model, mentor and advocate for young girls in skate. Through her work with Skate Like A Girl, she encourages the next generation of girls to continue pursuing their passion.

Alice Dearing also joined the discussion to share the challenges she has faced in becoming the first black woman to swim for Great Britain at the Olympic Games. Having experienced the barriers that exist within the sport for people of colour, Dearing is now a lead ambassador for the Black Swimming Association (BSA), focusing on increasing participation among black people and changing attitudes to underline the importance of learning to swim.

Puerto Rican table tennis player Brian Afanador also spoke about how he has used his platform as an Olympic athlete to expand awareness to help his community following the devastating impact of Hurricane Maria. In collaboration with the #Yonomequito Foundation, he has helped to rebuild homes and provide necessities like food, fresh water and emergency services to local families in need.

“The spirit of the Olympic Games has the power to lift us up and unite us, and these incredible athletes have all taken that spirit beyond the Olympic Games and into their communities with a goal of creating positive change,” said host Liukin. “It’s inspiring to see organisations like P&G continuing to celebrate athletes both on and off the field, supporting their efforts to fuel good in communities so others will be inspired to do the same.” 

“For me, being an Olympian is much more than just excelling at my sport; it’s also about using my platform to help the next generation of women skaters coming up reach their potential and dream big,” said Duran. “I would not be where I am today without the community and experiences I got at Skate Like A Girl. This organisation is a prominent voice for gender equality and inclusion in skateboarding, and their events, camps and afterschool programmes help make an unreal scenario real. I am so appreciative of P&G and Athletes for Good for supporting them.”

The Athletes for Good Fund contributes to P&G’s commitment of 2,021 acts of good in 2021. This pledge is part of P&G’s wider #LeadWithLove campaign, which celebrates athletes and their inspiring acts of good, and builds on the commitment to take action to make progress in the key areas of equality and inclusion, environmental sustainability and community impact, as part of its citizenship-driven partnership with the IOC through to 2028.

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