Beijing-Swimming legends gathered with fellow Olympic athletes in support of Right To Play, a non-profit organization that works with the world's most disadvantaged children and communities through sport and play programs.
Hosted by Olympic Title Sponsor, Johnson & Johnson, Right To Play brought together the world's greatest athletes to celebrate the power for sport. Retired swimming greats Jenny Thompson and Ian Thorpe have been Right To Play Athlete Ambassadors for 8 years and both were here to support RTP. Current swimmers Christine Magnuson, who won double silvers, Audrey Lacroix from Canada, and Mark Gangloff, gold medalist on the relay, were joined by 10 time medalist Natalie Coughlin to support J&J's Hearts of Gold program.
J&J is donating $20,000 per gold medal, $15,000 per silver and $10,000 per bronze won by those who have signed up to be Right to Play athlete ambassadors, which means that Coughlin's swims raised $80,000 for Right To Play.
Olympic silver medal winning rower, Kate Johnson, created the relationship between RTP and J&J, which also gave each athlete in Beijing twin Chinese-themed bracelets, one to wear and one to share with "someone special who supported his or her journey to the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games."
"I like how the program actually effects individual children and is able to reach the individual child and effect their daily life in a situation where they wouldn't necessarily be able to experience sport," said Magnuson, whose swims earned RTP $30,000. "Sport has not only opened doors, but it has taught me so much in my daily life, such as earning to balance my time. It has also helped me develop friendships that I would never have had, and I hope that I can give those same opportunities to other children."