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Olympians, Paralympians connect with students via ‘Heart of a Champion’

Athletics - Olympics: Day 15

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 20: Allyson Felix of the United States reacts after winning gold during the Women’s 4 x 400 meter Relay on Day 15 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 20, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)

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Allyson Felix and more U.S. Olympians and Paralympians connect with children through “Heart of a Champion,” a learning series launched by NBC Olympics, Classroom Champions and ClassDojo.

The free episodes are available here on and will be distributed free to all classrooms on ClassDojo.

In each episode, an athlete shares an experience with one social or emotional trait:

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

“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,” Felix, the most decorated Olympic female track and field athlete with nine medals and six golds, said in a press release. “It’s because of these skills, that I’m once again ready to compete at the highest level.”

Classroom Champions was founded in 2009 by Steve Mesler, a bobsledder who won Olympic gold in 2010, and his sister, Dr. Leigh Parise, an education researcher, to connect students with world-class athlete mentors. The non-profit has connected 200 athletes, including many Olympians and Paralympians, to more than one million students across 35 countries.

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