U.S. Olympic Committee celebrates 25th anniversary of FLAME Program

Thirty student leaders of color selected to participate in annual career development program

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The United States Olympic Committee today announced the 30 student leaders of color from colleges and universities across the country who were selected to participate in the 25th annual FLAME (Finding Leaders Among Minorities Everywhere) Program. The 2018 program runs from May 30 to June 6 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

FLAME is designed to inspire undergraduate and graduate students of color to pursue careers within the Olympic and Paralympic movements. Selected participants have demonstrated a pursuit of excellence within their own communities and will have the opportunity to further their personal and professional growth by connecting with U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes, USOC and National Governing Body leaders, and others who have achieved success in the sports industry.

The program provides students with an in-depth look at the Olympic and Paralympic movements, and personal exploration of the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect. The program also offers a pathway for talented youth to become further involved in the Olympic and Paralympic movements, either through the USOC’s internship program, or other sports-related career and volunteer opportunities.

Participants in this year’s program represent 20 states from across the nation. During the eight-day program, FLAME participants will reside at the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center and spend time with U.S. Olympians, Paralympians and hopefuls. The program will include professional development workshops, leadership seminars and networking sessions.

The 2018 speaker program is highlighted by several U.S. Olympians and Paralympians, including Julie Chu (ice hockey; 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014), Chris Coleman (bobsled; 1992, 1994), Lauren Gibbs (bobsled, 2018), April Holmes (Para track and field; 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016), Allison Jones (Para-cycling; 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016), Elana Meyers Taylor (bobsled; 2010, 2014, 2018), Denise Parker (archery, 1988), John Register (Para track and field, 1996), Rico Roman (sled hockey; 2014, 2018) and Bonnie St. John (Para alpine skiing, 1984).

Additional speakers include Anita DeFrantz, vice president of the International Olympic Committee and Olympic bronze medalist in rowing (1976); Ashland Johnson, civil rights lawyer and sports inclusion advocate; Wade Davis, former NFL player and LGBT inclusion consultant for the NFL; and several leaders from the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic family.

The program will also feature Oris Stuart, senior vice president and director of diversity and inclusion for the NBA as the USOC’s FLAME Invited Speaker, supported by Drs. Tej and Simran Singh.

Additional activities will include Paralympic sport demonstrations, a golf workshop organized by the PGA of America and a Colorado Rapids game.

FLAME Class of 2018


Full Name

College/University

Hometown

Jamal Banks

Troy University

Columbus, Georgia

Kevin Bearam

St. John's University

Brooklyn, New York

Macy Beltz

University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

Chaska, Minnesota

Jordan Bonner

Wesleyan University

Houston, Texas

Candace Burton

University of Massachusetts

New York, New York

Quincy Carpenter

Hampton University

Anchorage, Alaska

Dija Cobb

Wingate University

Columbia, South Carolina

Courtland Crenshaw

Indiana University

Indianapolis, Indiana

Diana Debnam

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Fayetteville, North Carolina

Mooregan Elder

Alabama State University

Kennesaw, Georgia

Kiambra Griffin

Davidson College

New York, New York

Asia Hart

Queens University of Charlotte

Hoover, Alabama

Kevin Jenkins

Florida Atlantic University

West Bloomfield, Michigan

Ayissa Maldonado

Texas A&M University

Edinburg, Texas

Vanessa Mallory

Alabama State University

Columbia, Maryland

Oliver Moe

Colgate University

Bronx, New York

Tatianna Montalvo

University of Connecticut

Middletown, New York

Jonah Morales

San Diego State University

San Diego, California

Jesus Morel

Hibbing Community College

Miami, Florida

Maggie Moulton

Idaho State University

Meridian, Idaho

Rapulu Okolo

Maryville University of St. Louis

Kansas City, Missouri

Isa Osorio Moran

San Diego State University

Miami, Florida

Jim Ou

Temple University

Taipei, Taiwan

Ben Pereira

Florida State University

Berkley, Massachusetts

Gabe Pickett

Temple University

Vestal, New York

Bryan Quach

San Diego State University

Honolulu, Hawaii

Marquis Stevens

Colorado State University

Tacoma, Washington

Maxalan Vickers

Columbia University

Perry, Georgia

Timi Wallace

University of Rhode Island

Providence, Rhode Island

Olivia Wynn

Wagner College

Somerville, New Jersey