We are committed to working to preserve the values of fair play, sportsmanship and drug-free competition in the world of sports. However, we are building on a foundation that was laid by many courageous individuals and organizations before us, and they deserve to be recognized.
That is the purpose of the Foundation for Global Sports Development Humanitarian Award. The Foundation for Global Sports Development Humanitarian Award is presented to individuals and organizations that have stepped up as leaders and champions for social, economic, political, or environmental justice and equality.
This award honors those who actively fight against indifference, injustice and intolerance. It recognizes those who promote an international spirit of understanding, cooperation, friendship, and development. Special attention is given to organizations and individuals that have enhanced the quality of life in their communities through mentorship and outreach.
Each recipient may select up to three non-profit organizations to which The Foundation for Global Sports Development will make a $100,000 donation in honor of the award recipient. The foundation typically selects the Humanitarian Award recipient in conjunction with the Summer and Winter Games.
2018 Humanitarian Award
In 2008 a group of women came foward with reports of abuse. They informed USA Gymnastics that their coach, Doug Boger, had abused a number of gymnasts at his Flairs gym in Pasadena, California in the 1970s and 1980s.
The abuse haunted the women for years. They were determined to protect other gymnasts from a broken system that enabled predators to continue coaching and interacting with youth. Instead, they experienced uphill battles and roadblocks from USAG, and to this day their abuser still denies any wrongdoing.
In 2016 a gymnast publicly came forward to report that a team doctor abused her during a “treatment.” This man had treated hundreds of young athletes over the course of his decades-long career at Michigan State University, several club gyms, and with Team USA. Parents, athletes, and coaches all trusted him.
One by one, more women came forward and reported similar stories of abuse. Some knew they had been abused and had tried to speak up, but they had been silenced. Many athletes were devastated to realize that what happened to them was abuse disguised as treatment – from someone they trusted.
In January of 2018, during the trial against this predator, Larry Nassar, over 150 women courageously shared their victim impact statements, revealing difficult details many of them would have preferred to keep private. These women stepped forward as individuals and together became an army.
An army of Sister Survivors.
These women continue to fight injustice in systems that allowed abuse to happen and continue for decades. They are determined to end the culture of abuse that is so pervasive in sport and society. They are determined to protect future athletes and create environments where young people can flourish, rather than be subjected to abuse.
In April of 2018, we brought these two groups of women together and honored them with our Humanitarian Award. To us, these women are humanitarians. They are changemakers, and they have forever changed the face of sport for the better.
Previous Humanitarian Award Recipients