Bridgestone Americas, Inc. (Bridgestone) today announced the addition of six Olympians and Paralympians from the United States and Canada to its global roster of athlete ambassadors on the road to the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 and beyond.
The United States’ Dani Aravich (Para Nordic skiing), Brittany Bowe (speedskating), Nathan Chen (figure skating), Elana Meyers Taylor (bobsled) and Mike Schultz (Para snowboarding) are joining Canada’s Mark McMorris (snowboarding) as the newest members of the Team Bridgestone family. All six athletes, who have already earned a combined nine Olympic and Paralympic medals to date, are recognized not only for their athletic accomplishments but also for what they do off the field of play every day.
“Bridgestone is committed to improving the way people move, live, work and play by creating new value for society and our customers, and this carries into our support of the world’s greatest athletes as a Worldwide Olympic and Paralympic Partner,” said Paolo Ferrari, president & CEO, Bridgestone Americas. “We are proud to help these incredible Team Bridgestone athletes chase their dreams at the highest level of sport, as well as partner with them to demonstrate our shared belief that creating a positive and lasting impact in our communities is what really matters.”
Bridgestone is a proud partner of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) and the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) through 2024. The upcoming Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games mark the fourth consecutive Games where the company has supported a roster of Team Bridgestone athlete ambassadors who have demonstrated their ability to deliver in the biggest moments and inspire others with their passion and perseverance.
Team Bridgestone athlete ambassadors are selected based on criteria related to the company’s core values. Their actions are focused on doing what really matters both to succeed on the field of play and make a difference off it — including commitments to acts of service, foundations and other community activities. Each athlete will receive financial support and access to Bridgestone products and technologies. They also will participate in community, customer, and employee activities before, during and after the Games.
These six winter athletes from North America join France’s Pierre Vaultier (snowboard), Japan’s Akira Kano (Para alpine skiing) and Takeshi Suzuki (Para alpine skiing), the women’s ice hockey athletes of the Japanese Olympic Team, known as Smile Japan, Poland’s Maciej Kot (ski jumping), Australia’s Tess Coady (snowboard) and more on the company’s global roster of Team Bridgestone athlete ambassadors.
Meet Team Bridgestone USA
Dani Aravich was born without her left hand and forearm, but she never let her disability slow her down in life. The Boise, Idaho native started playing sports at a young age and excelled against able-bodied peers. In high school, she was introduced to cross country running and ultimately competed in the sport at Butler University in Indiana. After graduating and working in professional sports, most recently with the Utah Jazz, the 25-year-old set her sights on the Paralympic Games in both summer and winter sports. She qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games and competed for Team USA in the 400m sprint, and she is also training to make the Paralympic National Nordic Ski Team with hope of competing in both Para Nordic skiing and biathlon at Beijing 2022. When not training and competing, Aravich also serves as an adaptive model, motivational speaker, and ambassador for the Challenged Athletes Foundation, which Bridgestone also supports.
Brittany Bowe is a two-time Olympian and speedskating star for Team USA who has qualified for her third consecutive Olympic Winter Games. From Ocala, Florida, Bowe started speedskating in 2010 after seeing her friends from inline skating transition to the ice. With 32 inline medals to her name and a decorated collegiate basketball career at Florida Atlantic University, she quickly made her mark in long track speedskating. Today she is a World Record holder — the fastest woman in the world over 1000m — and a seven-time World Champion. She competed in the 500m, 1000m, 1500m and team pursuit at Sochi 2014, and at PyeongChang 2018 she finished fourth in the 1000m before winning her first medal – a bronze in the team pursuit. Off the track, the 33-year-old is a LGBQT+ advocate and an ambassador for Right to Play, an organization that works to protect, educate, and empower children to rise above adversity using the power of play.
Nathan Chen is one of two winter athletes returning as a member of Team Bridgestone from PyeongChang 2018. Chen began skating at the age of three and entered his first figure skating competition in 2003. Today, the 22-year-old is a three-time World champion (2018, 2019 & 2021), a 2018 Olympic team bronze medalist, a three-time Grand Prix Final Champion, and a six-time U.S. national champion. Currently a student at Yale University, Chen has taken time off to focus on his skating in preparation for Beijing 2022 and securing a spot on Team USA for his second straight Olympic Winter Games. Through the progression of his career, Chen has also sought to find ways to make an impact off the ice through efforts to increase diversity, equity and inclusion in his sport and beyond.
Mark McMorris is already one of the most decorated athletes in snowboarding history with two Olympic medals, 20 X Games medals, and four US Open Championship wins. In 2011, the Canadian snowboarder became the first person to land a backside triple cork 1440, and the following winter he became the second athlete in history to win two gold medals in the same X Games. He documented his emotional journey through injury in the film, “Unbroken: The Snowboard Life of Mark McMorris,” and battled back from a fractured femur in 2016 to win his second consecutive Olympic bronze medal in slopestyle in 2018. An advocate for underprivileged youth, McMorris and his brother Craig founded the Mark McMorris Foundation in 2012 with a vision of creating a more affordable, accessible, and inclusive sport culture in Canada. To date, the Foundation has raised over $250,000 and created athletic opportunities for more than 2,500 Canadian youth. Today, the 28-year-old from Regina, Saskatchewan is training to qualify for his third consecutive Olympic Winter Games.
Elana Meyers Taylor — mother, advocate and bobsled champion — is also returning to Team Bridgestone for the upcoming Olympic Winter Games. Meyers Taylor grew up playing softball and first declared her intention to be an Olympian at the age of nine. But when softball was removed from the Olympic program in 2005, she found her Olympic dream at a crossroads. With encouragement from her parents, she transitioned to bobsled and charted a new, history-making course. Meyers Taylor won bronze in Vancouver as a brakewoman and then silver in Sochi as a driver, becoming the first female bobsled athlete to win a medal in both positions. The 37-year-old is also the first woman to win an international medal in a men’s event and the first American to win a women’s bobsled world championship — which she has now done twice. After winning silver again at PyeongChang 2018, Meyers Taylor welcomed her son, Nico, now almost two, with her husband and fellow bobsled athlete Nic Taylor. On the track, Taylor is training for her fourth consecutive Olympic Winter Games; off the track, she is a passionate advocate for women’s and racial equality in sports, as well as for Down syndrome awareness.
Mike Schultz, a Minnesota native, is a lifetime lover of action sports and a 10-time X Games gold medalist who has continued to compete and thrive at the highest levels following a traumatic competition injury. Schultz drifted off course in a snowcross race in 2008 before flying off his snowmobile and landing on his left leg. He suffered a severe compound fracture and after multiple surgeries had his leg amputated above the knee. After engineering his own prosthetic knee, which utilizes a patented linkage system and a mountain bike shock, Schultz earned a motocross adaptive silver medal at the X Games. The 40-year-old soon realized the need for advancements in high impact adaptive sports prosthetics and founded BioDapt, Inc. in July 2010. The company, which designs, manufactures, and distributes high performance lower limb prosthetic components used for action sports and other activities, saw 16 Paralympic athletes compete in its prosthetics at PyeongChang 2018, where Schultz also won gold in snowboard cross and silver in banked slalom.
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