WHO WE ARE

We are a group of Olympians, Coaches and Supporters who find our Olympic system unacceptable. We are working with the United States Congress to review the USOPC and its NGBs and restructure the system, making athletes and sport development the priorities

Leadership

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AUGUST WOLF OLY

Shot Put

August Wolf is the founder of Olympians Rising. Wolf was U.S. Indoor and Outdoor National Shot Put Champion in 1984, and competed at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. Wolf graduated from Princeton University in 1983, and holds the outdoor Ivy League Record in the shot put.

After retiring from competitive sport in 1992, August worked in Silicon Valley and in banking in New York City. August also in 2000 founded US Athletic Trust, a sport NGO providing support and advocacy for America’s Olympic athletes, which provided direct support to nearly 100 athletes, and published seminal work on the lack of direct athlete support. He was instrumental in rationalizing the USOC development effort from 2010-2014, and served as Trustee of the United States Olympic and Paralympic Foundation from 2014-2018. He has also been an influential member of the Board of the Friends of Princeton Track since 1995​​​.

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BODE MILLER OLY

Alpine

Bode Miller is a world class athlete and gifted rebel. Bode excelled at different sports in high school including soccer, tennis, and even snowboarding. While attending Carrabassett Valley Academy, a ski racing academy in Maine, Bode laid the groundwork to become the best Alpine ski racer in the world. Bode is focused on allowing all young athletes, regardless of economic status, to have a chance to train and compete. Bode won six Olympic medals, including gold (Men’s Super Combined) at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. He also won the Men’s World Cup Overall Championships in 2005 and in 2008.

Other world titles include: (2003 Giant slalom, 2003 Combined, 2005 Downhill, 2005 Super-G). Bode is considered one of the greatest Alpine Ski racers of all time and the most decorated male American Alpine skier in the history of the United States. Miller has already blazed his own trail making a successful the transition into the media and business world since retirement in 2014.

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DR. GEORGE YANCOPOULOS

Scientist

Dr. George Yancopoulos is a co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Regeneron, a pre-eminent biotechnology company. A classic all-around student athlete in Bronx Science High School and Columbia College, George played basketball, ran distance, and finally focused on competitive rowing on the Columbia University Crew Team.  Dr. Yancopoulos is also a proud father of four very credentialed student athletes including his youngest daughter, who competed in a dominant fashion in boys HS wrestling until an untimely injury ended her career.

Dr. Yancopoulos is proud to have co-founded REGENERON, the most prolific inventor of drugs in modern history. He has led Regeneron alongside Len Schleifer, MD, PhD, since 1989. George has been driven by science and performance his entire life. He began his education at the Bronx High School of Science, received his MD and PhD from Columbia University and went on to become the 11th most highly cited scientist in the world in the 1990s. In 2004, he was elected to be a member of the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Yancopoulos, together with key members of his team, is a principal inventor and developer of Regeneron's six FDA-approved drugs, as well as its foundational technologies, including the Trap technology, VelociGene® and VelocImmune®.

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DIA RIANDA

Coach, US Swimming

Dia Rianda - Aquatics Director, CEO & Head Coach of Monterey County Aquatic Team (MCAT), a grass roots swimming program in the Salinas Valley on Central Coast of California. MCAT is dedicated to providing elite coaching and personal development of young swimmers from all backgrounds. Coach Rianda has enabled thousands of athletes in 25 years to change their lives through personal swimming excellence. In July 2018 MCAT’s Clark Kent Apuada broke the long-standing age group Far Western record in the 100m Butterfly of 29-time Gold Medalist Michael Phelps OLY by over a second, and received international acclaim. Quoting USA TODAY, “Apuada received national attention for breaking Phelps' record. But breaking records is the norm. It starts with preparation.”

 

Away from her preparation and care of her swimmers, Coach Rianda is a loving mother, wife, and credentialed businessperson in the Salinas Valley agricultural community. She brings a wealth of experience both in grassroots sport and business to the leadership ranks of our effort. Coach Rianda has been a defender of athletes’ rights for safety and opportunity for decades. She is a WORLD CLASS organizer who WALKS THE TALK, a shining example of how sport can change lives. 

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CAROLINE LIND OLY

Rowing

Caroline Lind is a two-time Olympic gold medalist rower in the women’s eight. Caroline, won her first gold medal as member of the women’s eight team at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Four years later at 2012 Olympic Games in London, Caroline triumphantly defended her title, winning another gold for Team USA.  Caroline was also six-time WORLD CHAMPION from 2006-2014.

Caroline graduated from Princeton University in 2006 and earned an M.B.A. with an accounting concentration at Rider University (2010), that she is now using at the Princeton University Development Office. Caroline highlights winning her first Olympic gold medal as her most memorable athletic achievement.

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JIMMY PEDRO OLY

Judo

Jimmy Pedro is an elite Judo master and a two-time Olympic bronze medalist. Jimmy also became a Judo World Champion (73 kg) at the 1999 World Judo Championships in Birmingham, Great Britain. Pedro is a Shichidan (7th degree Black Belt) and is known worldwide for his judo prowess, coaching style, and training methods. Jimmy graduated from Brown University in 1994 with BA in Business Economics. As a world class judo coach, Jimmy trained two-time Olympic gold medalist Kayla Harrison and Silver Olympic medalist Travis Stevens. He currently owns Pedro’s Judo Center in Wakefield, MA and is also the President of FUJI Mats & Vice President of Hatashita/Fuji Sports. Jimmy also teaches Judo clinics & seminars all over the United States

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LINDA SAETRE

Strategic Advisor

Linda Saetre is the founder of PLATO; a vertically integrated, global media company, created to meet the content and distribution needs of the digital future. A geopolitical thinker, she is also an accomplished producer, writer, and sales whiz who transitioned from a decade of experience in acquisition, development, and film/TV distribution to devote herself to finding new ways to deliver mass media and education to customers in emerging markets. Her previous accolades include serving as VP of Bonne Pioche International, producers of the Oscar-winning "March of the Penguins" (2005) which grossed over $130 million at the box office, Executive Producing acclaimed documentaries -- "A Jihad for Love" (2007), "The Beauty Academy of Kabul" (2005), Sundance Channel’s "Waste, the Nuclear Nightmare" (2009), Discovery Network/Bonne Pioche’s “The Great Flood: Paris 2010" (2006) -- and producing "Geography of the Hapless Heart" (2014).

She is also the founder of STG (Saetre Tech Group) and SFG (Saetre Film Group), two cutting edge media and tech companies providing services to PLATO as well as Telecoms in the emerging markets.

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KAYLA HARRISON OLY

Judo

Kayla Harrison began judo at the age of 6. As a teenager, Kayla became one of the most prominent judo competitors in the country. Kayla was the victim of criminal sexual abuse by a coach in her teens. She endured, and guided by fellow Olympian Jimmy Pedro, Kayla went on to make history at the World Championships in 2010, and the 2012 Olympic Games in London, becoming the first American Olympian to win a gold medal in the history of the sport of judo. She repeated this same feat by defending her title at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

 

Kayla continued her athletic career in June 2018 when made her MMA debut with a first round submission by her opponent. Kayla supports organizations committed to protecting the lives of women and children. She founded the Fearless Foundation, an organization that shines a light on the darkness that is child abuse, and uplifts the lives of survivors through sport, education, as well as moral and emotional support.

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