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Heart of a champion connects Olympians & Paralympians with students

April 16, 2021 

NBC Olympics, ClassDojo and Classroom Champions are teaming up to offer kids the chance to learn crucial life skills taught by Olympic and Paralympic athletes in a new learning series, ‘Heart of a Champion’. In this unique series, children will hear stories from elite U.S. athletes on building life skills such as perseverance, courage and goal setting. Children can follow the athletes on their journey to make the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams for the Tokyo Olympics. 

“For decades NBC has been bringing the extraordinary stories of Olympic athletes to life,” said Jenny Storms, Chief Marketing Officer, Entertainment and Sports, NBCUniversal. “Through our partnership with ClassDojo and Classroom Champions, we are excited to connect these athletes with millions of students and to share their inspirational journeys in order to help kids succeed in sports, in the classroom and in life.” 

ClassDojo is a leading education company and Classroom Champions is a non-profit dedicated to connecting students with world-class athlete mentors. Together with NBC Olympics, who is responsible for producing programming and promoting NBCUniversal’s coverage of the Olympic games in the US, they have created a platform for kids to learn about focus and to celebrate diversity with experts on achieving goals. 

“Olympians and Paralympians are the most inspirational athletes our country has to offer to help kids see their potential. As these athletes put their long-standing dreams on hold through the first Olympic and Paralympic postponement in history, there’s no one better equipped to teach kids about perseverance,” said Steve Mesler, Olympic Gold Medalist and Chief Executive Officer of Classroom Champions. “Our partnership with NBC Olympics and ClassDojo is an exciting step in getting the right people in front of millions more kids struggling to find role models in today’s world.” 

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Each athlete will share their experience with one important social or emotional trait. One athlete in the 10-part series is Allyson Felix who won her first international title at the age of 15. She has since gone on to hold more world championship and Olympic titles than any other female track athlete. Her episode on courage relates her journey on the track to the courage students use in the everyday classroom setting. 

The following athletes and topics are featured in the series: 

  • Allyson Felix (Track & Field) - Courage 
  • Christian Taylor (Track & Field) - Goal Setting 
  • Chuck Aoki (Wheelchair Rugby) - Perseverance 
  • Emily Regan (Rowing) - Teamwork 
  • Lex Gillette (Track & Field) - Feedback 
  • Sophia Herzog (Swimming) - Diversity 
  • David Boudia (Diving) - Focus 
  • April Ross (Beach Volleyball) - Community 

“One of the most courageous acts one can do is be themselves, but it is also one of the most challenging life skills to learn or teach,” said Felix, a 6-time Olympic Gold Medalist. “When the Tokyo Games were postponed, it tested these lessons once more. It took courage, perseverance, teamwork and my community as an athlete and as a mom, to keep my competition mindset for an additional year. It’s because of these skills, that I’m once again ready to compete at the highest level.” 

‘Heart of a Champion’ will be available to the public for free at ClassDojo and distributed for free to all classrooms, with the aim that all children deserve access to the world’s best learning experiences and role models. This series ends a difficult school year and encourages students to strive for greatness amidst challenges. 


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