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American football star becomes PyeongChang 2018 ambassador

2017-07-06 09:14:00 IOC

Korean-born former American football star, Hines Ward has been confirmed as the latest big name from the world of sport to join the roster of official ambassadors for the Olympic Winter and Paralympic Games PyeongChang 2018.

Born in Seoul (KOR) in 1976 to a Korean mother and an American father, Ward grew up in the USA and rose to prominence in the sport of American Football, over 14 seasons competing for the Pittsburgh Steelers. As a wide receiver for the Steelers he was a two-time winner of American football’s top trophy, the Super Bowl, and became the first Korean American to win the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player (MVP) award in 2006.

Since retiring from competitive sport, he has gone on to become a successful entrepreneur and TV analyst in the USA. Over the years, he has been an active advocate for social acceptance of foreigners in Korea, especially young people from mixed-race families, and he set up the Hines Ward Helping Hands Foundation, which helps mixed-race children in the Republic of Korea who have suffered discrimination.

In 2010, his contributions away from the field of play were recognized when former US President Barack Obama appointed him as a member of the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

“I have been blessed during the years of playing football and I am honoured to be able to give back in some way to the Republic of Korea by supporting the Winter Games,” explained Ward. “It is going to be an amazing event and a fantastic chance to see the world’s top winter athletes perform in Korea.

“I know what it takes to perform at the highest level in your sport, and I know the dedication and effort that all the Olympic and Paralympic athletes will be putting in for PyeongChang 2018. There is nothing better than competing in front of a huge crowd, and I hope we can create that atmosphere for everyone who comes to take part in the Games.”

POCOG President Lee Hee-Beom was delighted to see the Korean American join the list of PyeongChang 2018 ambassadors. “Hines Ward is one of our most successful athletes, and we are very proud to have him as a Games ambassador. He has been a strong voice for important issues in our country, so we are very happy that he is now going to be a voice for PyeongChang 2018 as well.”

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