COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — USA Triathlon today teamed up with several U.S. Olympic and Paralympic National Governing Bodies (NGBs) to announce the launch of Giving Games, an effort to support and sustain U.S. sports organizations and their athletes on their journey to the postponed Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2021.
Giving Games will launch July 24, on what would have been the Opening Ceremony of the originally planned Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. With the postponement of the Games to 2021, many NGBs and their athletes are facing extraordinary financial hardship.
“The COVID-19 pandemic forced the elite domestic and International Triathlon Union (ITU) racing seasons to be put on pause, removing many U.S. triathletes’ sole source of income via prize money and sponsor incentives,” said David Deschenes, USA Triathlon Foundation Executive Director. “The postponement of the Tokyo Games adds another year of costs for athletes including travel, coaching expenses, training facilities and equipment. USA Triathlon is proud to take part in Giving Games, providing a unique opportunity for Olympic and Paralympic fans across the country to give back to the athletes who will inspire them next year in Tokyo.”
Unlike most Olympic and Paralympic sports around the world that receive government funding, U.S. athletes rely heavily on their community for philanthropic and sponsor support. Adding to the physical and emotional toll that a delay in competition places on their shoulders, their revenue streams and future racing plans are now under threat.
“With the majority of competitions canceled or postponed, it’s challenging as a professional athlete — who relies on prize money as a source of income — to maintain financial stability and offset personal cost,” said Renée Tomlin, U.S. National Team member and Tokyo Olympic hopeful in triathlon. “It’s a privilege to compete for Team USA, and that is never taken for granted; however, financial sustainability is pertinent in the pursuit of excellence at this level. The Giving Games offers a unique, interactive platform for those with the means to share and support Olympic and Paralympic athletes affected in these difficult times.”
“America’s athletes need our support to compete in 2021,” said Max Cobb, Chair of the National Governing Bodies Council. “At a time when America feels extraordinarily divided, this is an opportunity to come together in our common love of country and sport for the pursuit of success on the world stage, raising funds to directly support our athletes and our sports that sustain them, and their dreams, during this critical next year.”
All funds raised will either be a direct donation to a specific sport or provide general support for all sports, which will be equally divided among the participating sports organizations.
Fans and donors who wish to support USA Triathlon and its athletes directly can make a gift at this link. All proceeds will support U.S. Olympic and Paralympic triathlon hopefuls by funding high-performance initiatives and grant programs.
Olympic and Paralympic fans may also contribute to Giving Games in the following ways:
- Take the Giving Games quiz to find the sport that best matches you, and make a donation to that organization
- Enter to win one of 10 sweepstakes packages from Omaze
- Help set the World Record for most donations made in 24 hours
- Compete in the Medal of Giving by donating directly to a sport. At the conclusion of Giving Games, each sport will award a Gold, Silver and Bronze medal to the top three donors.
Giving Games will actively raise funds for athletes and their sports organizations during the original window of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020: July 24-Aug. 9.
Though recognized and supported by the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee, the National Governing Bodies are separate organizations. The Giving Games initiative is not associated with or endorsed by the USOPC or U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Foundation (USOPF), and funds raised through the Giving Games initiative are used to directly aid the National Governing Bodies and the athletes they support.
About Giving Games
Giving Games, taking place July 24 - August 9, 2020, is a fundraising initiative that brings U.S. sports organizations together and implores Americans to help sustain our athletes’ journeys. The initiative was started to help fill the gap of time that currently sits empty due to the postponement of the Tokyo Games. All funds raised will either be a direct donation to a specific sport or general support of all of the sports which will be equally divided among the participating sports organizations. Comprising multiple fundraising activations, Giving Games works to sustain our athletes and sports during an unprecedented time of need. For more, visit givinggames2020.com.
About the USA Triathlon Foundation
The USA Triathlon Foundation was created in 2014 by the USA Triathlon Board of Directors as an independent tax-exempt 501(c)(3) entity. Under the leadership of its Trustees and Committee members, the Foundation serves as a means to create a healthier America through triathlon and seeks to transform lives by opening up new pathways to the sport for all, especially those who are otherwise underserved. The USA Triathlon Foundation operates with the belief that every child should have the chance to participate, every paratriathlete should have the opportunity to compete, and every aspiring elite athlete should be able to chase his or her Olympic dream. Since the Foundation’s inception, more than $1.9 million has been provided to worthy causes and organizations that support its mission. Donations to the USA Triathlon Foundation ensure America's youth are introduced to the benefits and fun of a multisport lifestyle, athletes with disabilities receive the training, support and gear to be able to participate and excel, and the best aspiring young athletes have a chance to pursue their Olympic Dreams. Visit usatriathlonfoundation.org to learn more and donate today.
About USA Triathlon
USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the National Governing Body for triathlon, as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon, off-road triathlon and paratriathlon in the United States. Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon sanctions more than 4,300 events and connects with more than 400,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work at the grassroots level with athletes, coaches, and race directors — as well as the USA Triathlon Foundation — USA Triathlon provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Championships, Pan American Games and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of the ITU and the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC).