Sports Envoy
Sports Envoy Program

Evan Lysacek

Figure Skating

Served as envoy

  • 2012  –  Sweden
  • 2012  –  Belarus
  • 2014  –  Russia
  • 2020  –  Japan
  • 2020  –  Malaysia
  • 2020  –  Singapore

Following his figure skating Gold medal at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, Lysacek was chosen as the 2010 United States Olympic Committee’s SportsMan of the Year, and the winner of the James E. Sullivan Award as the top U.S. amateur athlete of 2010. On January 22, 2016, he was inducted into the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame. Evan Lysacek is the last American male figure skater to win an individual Olympic medal. He was a Sports Envoy in Belarus and Sweden in 2012 and Russia in 2014.

“With these adults, with young kids, with people who have nothing to do with skating whatsoever… our common language is sports and it transcends differences in language and differences in culture.” “I really feel like they absorbed the on-ice skills that I was trying to teach,” he said. “But also, I think they absorbed the message from what we were talking about a little bit and how that can help them if they continue skating, whatever skating will mean in their life, but it will also help them in everything that they do.”

Alex Shibutani

Ice Dancing

Served as envoy

  • 2017  –  South Korea
  • 2018  –  Japan
  • 2019  –  Japan

Maia and Alex Shibutani, known to audiences around the world as the “ShibSibs,” are the sister-brother ice dancing duo who captured two Olympic bronze medals at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea.

Their dedication and hard work, skating together for 14 years, paid off as they became the first U.S. team of siblings to earn an Olympic medal in ice dancing and the first in the world to do so since 1992. The Shibutanis also made history in South Korea as the first ice dancers of Asian descent to claim an Olympic medal.

Maia, born in NYC and Alex, born in Boston, MA, spent their early years growing up in Boston, MA and Old Greenwich, CT. Maia and Alex decided to take up ice dancing when she was 9 and he was 12 after their family traveled to Washington, D.C., to see the 2003 World Championships. They were so enthralled by the ice dancing competition that they became a team shortly afterward.

During their first year competing, they earned a silver medal at the U.S. Junior Championships (2005) at the Juvenile level. From 2006-2007, they lived and trained in Colorado Springs, and won unprecedented back-to-back National titles at the Intermediate (2006) and Novice levels (2007). As they advanced to the Junior level, they relocated to Michigan to train alongside the top ice dance teams in the world. They debuted internationally with a gold at their first Junior Grand Prix at the ages of 14 and 17. They won silver medal at the 2009 World Junior Championships, and the Junior ice dance title at the 2010 U.S. Championships.

Upon advancing to the senior level, Maia and Alex made a historic debut on the international circuit in 2010, becoming the first ice dance team ever to medal at both of their Grand Prix events during a rookie season. By earning a silver medal at the 2011 Four Continents Championship, they became the first ice dancers of Asian heritage to medal at a major ISU championship. During the 2011 World Championships, they became the first American ice dancers to medal at their Worlds debut. At just 16 and 19, they were the second youngest team in the history of the sport (and youngest since 1962) to medal at the World Championships. They secured a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team, competing at the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, competing as the second youngest team in the field and placing ninth.

Maia and Alex went on to win the national crown in both 2016 and 2017. Maia and Alex are the only ice dance team to medal at every level of national competition over consecutive years, standing on the podium at each of the 14 years that they have competed. A gold medal at the 2016 Four Continents Championships marked their first ISU Championship title. They returned to the World Championships medal podium, earning a silver medal in 2016 and the bronze in 2017. Their bronze-performance secured three spots for the United States at the 2018 Olympic Games.

Maia Shibutani

Ice Dancing

Served as envoy

  • 2017  –  South Korea
  • 2018  –  Japan
  • 2019  –  Japan

Maia and Alex Shibutani, known to audiences around the world as the “ShibSibs,” are the sister-brother ice dancing duo who captured two Olympic bronze medals at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea.

Their dedication and hard work, skating together for 14 years, paid off as they became the first U.S. team of siblings to earn an Olympic medal in ice dancing and the first in the world to do so since 1992. The Shibutanis also made history in South Korea as the first ice dancers of Asian descent to claim an Olympic medal.

Maia, born in NYC and Alex, born in Boston, MA, spent their early years growing up in Boston, MA and Old Greenwich, CT. Maia and Alex decided to take up ice dancing when she was 9 and he was 12 after their family traveled to Washington, D.C., to see the 2003 World Championships. They were so enthralled by the ice dancing competition that they became a team shortly afterward.

During their first year competing, they earned a silver medal at the U.S. Junior Championships (2005) at the Juvenile level. From 2006-2007, they lived and trained in Colorado Springs, and won unprecedented back-to-back National titles at the Intermediate (2006) and Novice levels (2007). As they advanced to the Junior level, they relocated to Michigan to train alongside the top ice dance teams in the world. They debuted internationally with a gold at their first Junior Grand Prix at the ages of 14 and 17. They won silver medal at the 2009 World Junior Championships, and the Junior ice dance title at the 2010 U.S. Championships.

Upon advancing to the senior level, Maia and Alex made a historic debut on the international circuit in 2010, becoming the first ice dance team ever to medal at both of their Grand Prix events during a rookie season. By earning a silver medal at the 2011 Four Continents Championship, they became the first ice dancers of Asian heritage to medal at a major ISU championship. During the 2011 World Championships, they became the first American ice dancers to medal at their Worlds debut. At just 16 and 19, they were the second youngest team in the history of the sport (and youngest since 1962) to medal at the World Championships. They secured a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team, competing at the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, competing as the second youngest team in the field and placing ninth.

Maia and Alex went on to win the national crown in both 2016 and 2017. Maia and Alex are the only ice dance team to medal at every level of national competition over consecutive years, standing on the podium at each of the 14 years that they have competed. A gold medal at the 2016 Four Continents Championships marked their first ISU Championship title. They returned to the World Championships medal podium, earning a silver medal in 2016 and the bronze in 2017. Their bronze-performance secured three spots for the United States at the 2018 Olympic Games.

DeeDee Trotter

Track & Field

Served as envoy

  • 2020  –  Japan

Trotter exploded on the Elite Track and Field scene in 2004. That year, she would win the prestigious NCAA title and become an Olympic finalist in the 400 meters, finishing fifth overall. Her Olympic debut was capped by a gold medal on the 4x400m relay, and she concluded the year ranked fourth in the world.

The 2004 season turned out to be the tip of Trotter’s athletic success. DeeDee is a three-time World Champion as a member of the 2003, 2007 and 2010 4x400m relay teams, a three-time 400m U.S. Champion and a three-time Olympian, which is an accomplishment that ranks her amongst the greatest female athletes in the world.

For the vast majority of DeeDee Trotter’s career, she has been considered by most to be the underdog. She would learn to use this imposed title as sheer motivation to propel herself to many unpredicted triumphs. In 2007, DeeDee pulled off a stunning upset defeating the #1 world-ranked Sanya Richards Ross, a victory that earned DeeDee her first Outdoor National Championship title. Although many were stunned by the aforementioned victory, DeeDee was not. Throughout her career, her strong belief in God, as well as her talent, carried her to heights many did not think were possible. To cap the season, Trotter would receive a nomination for “Breakthrough Performance of The Year” at the USA Track & Field Jessie Owens Awards, a much-respected honor among the sport. She also would reclaim her spot among the top 400m runners in the world. Through her experiences, DeeDee feels extremely blessed to share her medals and motivational truth with people all over the world, a gift she says “is worth its weight in gold!”

Brady Anderson

Baseball

Served as envoy

  • 2011  –  Japan

Born in Silver Spring, Maryland, Brady attended Carlsbad high school in Carlsbad California where he excelled in baseball earning a scholarship to the University of California where he also studied economics. Brady was selected 10t hoverall in the 1985 MLB amateur draft by the Boston Red Sox. Brady played 15 seasons in the Majors for 3 different teams and was also a 3 time All-Star and also still ranks amongst the top 10 Orioles in career batting leaders for games. In 2004 Brady was inducted in the Orioles Hall Of Fame. On November 8th to 16th 2011 Brady joined Ripken on a trip to Japan as a Sports Diplomat to help spread good will to the local community that was at the time effected by the earthquake and tsunami in March.

Cal Ripken, Jr.

Baseball

Served as envoy

  • 2007  –  China
  • 2008  –  Nicaragua
  • 2011  –  Japan
  • 2018  –  Czech Republic

Cal Ripken Jr. is baseball’s all-time Iron Man. He was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the second round of the 1978 MLB draft, remaining with the team for 21 seasons in which during his time, was managed by his father and played alongside his brother Billy Ripken

His name appears in the record books repeatedly, most notably as one of only ten players in history to achieve 400 home runs and 3,000 hits. One of his position’s most offensively productive players, Ripken compiled 3,184 hits, 431 home runs, and 1,695 runs batted in during his career. Won two Gold Glove Awards for his defense and was a 19-time All-Star. In 1995, Ripken broke Lou Gehrig’s Major League record for consecutive games played (2,130) and in 1996 he surpassed Sachio Kinugasa’s streak of 2,215 straight games and voluntarily ended his streak on September 20, 1998 after playing 2,632 consecutive games.

On July 29, 2007 he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Cal received the 4th highest percentage of votes in history, collecting the second highest vote total ever (98%) by the BBWAA.

In 2001, he and his family established the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation in memory of the family’s patriarch. The Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, using sports-themed programs to bring police officers, youth partners and underserved kids ages 9 to 14 together on a level playing field to learn invaluable life skills. In addition, the Ripken Foundation’s Youth Development Park Initiative creates clean, safe places for kids to play on multi-purpose, synthetic surface fields that promote healthy living in an outdoor recreational facility. Over the last nine years, the Ripken Foundation has created 88 completed parks across the country in 23 states, 17 of which are Adaptive Fields for children with special needs. In 2018, the Ripken Foundation impacted over 1.5 million kids nationwide through its Youth Development Park and mentoring programs.

Katie Ledecky

Swimming

Served as envoy

  • 2018  –  Japan
  • 2019  –  South Korea

Born in Washington, D.C. in 1997, Kathleen Ledecky (Katie, for short) did not waste much time before beginning her already-legendary swimming career. She started swimming at age 6, following in her older brother Michael’s footsteps. All before she passed her driver’s license test, she had two world records, four world championships, one Olympic gold.

Ledecky exploded onto the U.S. swimming scene in 2012 at the Olympic Trials, where she was the youngest swimmer at the meet. She quickly claimed her spot in the future of American swimming by winning the 800 freestyle and finishing third in the 400 and ninth in the 200. A few weeks later, she surprised her country and the world with a gold medal finish in the 800 freestyle at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Her time of 8:14.63 was incredibly close to the World Record and broke Janet Evans’ long-standing American Record of 8:16.22.

In the 1500, she shaved nearly six seconds off of Kate Ziegler’s previous world record in a hard-fought battle against Denmark’s Lotte Friis. Ledecky also made her international relay debut in Barcelona and won gold in the 4×200 freestyle relay with teammates Shannon Vreeland, Karlee Bispo and Missy Franklin. The 2013 FINA Female Swimmer of the Meet has certainly proven herself as a crucial part of the future of American swimming.

Deja Young

Track & Field Paralympics

Served as envoy

  • 2019  –  Nigeria
  • 2020  –  Virtual
  • 2021  –  Japan

Born with brachial plexus that caused nerve damage and limited mobility to her right shoulder, Young has excelled with her unique running form. A standout on her high school track team, she lettered all four years while also competing in volleyball and softball. Despite her success, she received a lot of resistance from recruiters and college coaches because of her disability. She earned a track scholarship to Wichita State University where she was All-Conference. It was at a college meet that she learned about Paralympic track and field, a path that would lead her to her first Paralympic titles at the Paralympic Games Rio 2016. She also served as an athlete mentor as part of the Sports Envoy Program of the U.S. State Department to Nigeria in 2018.

John Register

Track & Field Paralympics

Served as envoy

  • 2016  –  Uzbekistan
  • 2018  –  Japan
  • 2021  –  Global

Since childhood, sports have been John Register’s passion. A born athlete, he began swimming competitively at a young age, and soon added baseball, football and eventually track and field to his repertoire.

After high school, Register earned a scholarship to the University of Arkansas, where he became a four-time All-American — once in the NCAA long jump, once in the 55m high hurdles and twice on the 4x400m relay teams. Upon earning his BA in Communications in 1988, John enlisted in the U.S. Army, where he proudly served for six years. A Desert Shield and Desert Storm veteran, he continued to pursue athletic excellence while on active duty, participating in the Army’s World Class Athlete Program and winning nine gold medals in the Armed Services Competition, as well as two World Military Championships.

In 1988, John qualified for the Olympic trials in the 110m hurdles, and again in 1992 for the 400m hurdles. With these accomplishments, he seemed destined to compete as a member of the 1996 Olympic Team. On May 17, 1994, however, his life would be forever altered with one misstep over the hurdle.

A faulty landing hyper-extended John’s left knee, resulting in a severed popiliteal artery. An attempt to reconstruct the artery using a vein from his right leg failed; within days, gangrene turned the muscle black, and amputation was suggested. The alternative was a useless left knee and ankle, which would restrict his movements to a wheelchair for mobility.

Though the experience was devastating, John refused to be stopped by the injury. With a strong faith in Christ and the support of his wonderfully supportive wife Alice, he chose amputation, and through the use of a prosthetic leg, he walked again – and eventually ran.

During his long journey to recovery, John began using sports as a conduit to rehabilitation. At the Brooke Army Medical Center, he began swimming for cardiovascular fitness. It was during the first few swim sessions with his personal coach that an inspiration to compete again was born. After only 18 months of rehabilitation and training, John qualified for – and made – the 1996 Paralympic Team, competing in Atlanta, Ga. in the 50m freestyle. He also competed in the finals of the 4x400m-medley relay, swimming the anchor.

While watching closed-circuit television in Athlete Village during his first Paralympics, John observed athletes with one leg running and jumping on the track. Excited by what he saw, an idea was birthed, and after being fitted with a running prosthesis, he set a goal of competing in track and field at the 2000 Paralympic Games, in Sydney, Australia.

Not only did John begin to run, he began to make history! Two years after his first run with an artificial leg, he earned the Silver medal in the long jump at the 2000 Paralympic Games and set the American long jump record in the process with a distance of 5.41 meters (17.8feet). He also sprinted to 5th place in both the 100 and 200m dashes.

John’s life has truly come full circle in his transformation from All-American long jumper to Paralympic Silver medalist. His exceptional story of courage and inspiration led him to found Inspired Communications, where he serves as inspirational speaker, helping his audiences apply life lessons learned through times of testing to focus on what is possible.

“I did not overcome the loss of my limb. To overcome the loss would mean I’d have to grow it back. What I overcame were the limits I placed on myself and that others placed on me. This is what is universal for all of us to overcome.” John Register

His powerful keynote, “Hurdling Adversity”, challenges audiences both young and old to unleash the inspiration in them. John has been a spokesperson for Hartford Insurance Company, the American Plastics Council, the Ohio Willow Wood Company, and Disabled Sports USA. He has been a solutions engine for more than 50 companies, and featured on numerous national television programs, to include: PAX TV’s “It’s A Miracle” with Richard Thomas, FOX’s “The Edge” with Paula Zahn, NBC’s “Weekend Today Show” with Sara James, and MSNBC’s “Morning Blend” with Solidad O’Brian. He has also been profiled several times in The New York Times, The Washington Post, ESPN Magazine and the Washington Kid’s Post.

Subsequent to his 1994 amputation, John remained active with the military- first as a civilian employee of the Army working as a sports specialist with the Army’s World Class Athlete Program, then as a program specialist with the U.S. Army B.O.S.S. (Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers) Program at the Community and Family Support Center (CFSC) Headquarters in Alexandria, VA.

In 2003, he accepted a position with the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), and birthed the USOC Paralympic Military Program, which uses sports to assist in the recovery of wounded, ill or injured service members. The program which serves both active duty and retired military personnel has impacted thousands in creating their new normal.

Register is both volunteer and civic-minded, and frequently engages in peer mentor visits at military and veteran hospitals, serves on numerous boards, and was one of 35 co-chairs who acted as a surrogate for President Obama’s 2012 re-election.

John is married to the former Alice Johnson. The couple has two children (John Jr. , 29, and Ashley, 21). John also is the father of Ron Register, 30. Alice and John reside in Colorado Springs, Colorado.