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April 20, 2012
Sporting legend Bob Beamon named Beyond Sport Ambassador

Bob Beamon of the United States at the XIX Summer Olympics on 18th October 1968 at the National Stadium in Mexico City, Mexico.(Photo by Getty Images)
April 20, 2012 - Bob Beamon, one of the most celebrated athletes of the 20th Century and a stand-out example of how sport can be used to overcome adversity, has underlined his commitment to the use of sport as a tool for social change by signing as a Beyond Sport Ambassador.

Beamon, who immortalised himself in sporting history when he destroyed the world and Olympic records in the long jump during the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City, will help to spread the word about Beyond Sport and its mission to promote, develop, and reward the use of sport to create positive social change across the world.

He will also vote in the final judging process for the Beyond Sport Awards, which provide support worth £2 million ($3 million) annually to projects across the world that use sport to address issues within their communities. The winners of the Beyond Sport Awards 2012 will be announced at this year’s Beyond Sport Summit, to be staged in London on July 23rd-25th.

Beamon overcame an upbringing replete with gangs and violence to shatter the world long jump record by almost two feet, setting a distance that stood for more than two decades. Still an Olympic record 44 years on, it represents the longest standing of any Olympic track and field record. Away from the Games, Beamon has had great success in a number of business ventures and – mindful of the challenges of his own upbringing – has launched and supported a number of youth-centred charities and civic initiatives.

He joins fellow Olympians including Michael Johnson, Nawal El Moutawakel, Dame Kelly Holmes and Lord Sebastian Coe as a Beyond Sport Ambassador. They are part of a group headed by Beyond Sport’s Patron, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and the Chairman of the Beyond Sport Ambassadors, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. They and their peers each bring unique experiences and visions to the Beyond Sport initiative.

Bob Beamon said: “I have been lucky enough to enjoy a long and successful career both inside and outside sport. I passionately believe that sport can offer children from the world’s toughest backgrounds opportunities that simply would not exist otherwise, and Beyond Sport has led the development of this sector over the last four years. I look forward to playing my part in the continuation and development of that story.”

Nick Keller, the Founder of Beyond Sport, added: “Bob Beamon’s sporting achievements, culminating in that amazing jump in 1968, stand out amongst the most incredible accomplishments of the last century. The incredible thing about Bob, though, is that he has gone beyond sport – 1968 was not the end of his story, but has instead been the platform that has helped him to achieve so much in business and in terms of social change. We are delighted to welcome him as a Beyond Sport Ambassador.”

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