Benita Fitzgerald Mosley
The Olympic champion is the CEO of Laureus Sport for Good Foundation USA, a group aimed at using the power of sports to help change the lives of children
At the 1984 Olympic Summer Games, Benita Fitzgerald Mosley became the first African-American woman and second American ever to win a gold medal in the 110-meter hurdles. But she never stopped succeeding. After working for Special Olympics and the 1996 Atlanta Olympics organizing committee, she spent eight years as president and CEO of Women in Cable Telecommunications. From there, she became chief of sport performance for USA Track & Field, helping the team to win 29 medals at the 2012 Games, and served as chief of organizational excellence for the U.S. Olympic Committee. In 2016, she was named CEO of Laureus USA, a foundation that is part of a global effort to transform the lives of youth through sports.
In this interview with SportsTravel’s Jason Gewirtz, Fitzgerald Mosley discusses Laureus’ mission, barriers between kids and sports, and what winning gold meant to her.
Laureus USA has had an ambitious goal to use sports as a tool for social change. What are some of the most effective ways to do that?
It is an ambitious goal. We refined our mission a little bit when I got here less than a year ago. Our mission now is to change the lives of youth and strengthen communities through the power of sport. It’s somewhat of a bifurcated mission but we also feel like if you’re developing youth as they matriculate through school and go on to be employed in their community that sport in and of itself can bring communities together. Here in the United States, we have programs in 58 cities but we’re also funding the training of 1,500 coaches in sport programs around the country and we have really helped develop and advance sport for kids. I use an example of a program called Elevate in New Orleans.
To read the rest of this Q&A in the digital edition of SportsTravel, please click here.