An inside view
The USOC welcomed more than 200 Team USA athletes to the 2016 Olympic & Paralympic ACE Summit. Adecco is a proud sponsor of the USOC and the Athlete Career and Education Program (ACE). I was fortunate enough to be asked to serve on Adecco’s Executive ACE Committee. The committee supports athletes by helping them find flexible job opportunities. As an added bonus, I was invited to attend and participate in some of the events to honor Team USA.
A red carpet affair.
Festivities kicked off with the Team USA Awards show, “Best of the Games”, on Wednesday evening. Georgetown University rolled out the red carpet. As fans and photographers cheered for their favorite athletes, I was reminded of a Hollywood movie premiere. The feeling continued as I mingled with Olympians and Paralympians at an informal reception where they received their Games rings. I even got the opportunity to snap some pictures with Olympic idols
The awards show did not disappoint either – it was filled with inspirational presenters and recipients. Secretary of State, John Kerry and Georgetown legend, John Thompson Jr spoke. The Women’s Sitting Volleyball Team won the “Team of the Paralympic Games” award and fans voted. The show was followed by a lively after party; all of which I had a front row seat to. Such an amazing experience!
A white house affair.
On Thursday, athletes visited the White House to meet the President and the First Lady. After visiting the White House, the ACE summit began with a “welcome dinner”. Keynote speaker, Olympian and 9-time gold medalist was the highlight of the evening. Carl was both motivational and inspirational as he galvanized athletes to be role models while commenting on the impact their achievements have on others., who won 4 gold medals in 1988 and 1992, spoke as well. She is heading up the committee to bring the Olympic Games back to Los Angeles in 2024 and wrapped up the evening with a Town Hall session; soliciting feedback from the athletes on how to make the 2024 Los Angeles bid a success.
During dinner, I was honored to sit at a table with Olympians and Paralympians alike. When it was time for past Olympians to induct first-time Olympians into the alumni group, I was privileged to be the one to distribute the Olympic pins.
On Friday, athletes were busy attending workshops. The workshops varied in topic and provided athletes with tangible and actionable takeaways, resources and connections. Friday night, while athletes learned “how to network” in an instruction based lesson, business professionals attended a rooftop reception at the hotel. There I met other USOC sponsors and retired Olympians. After, athletes practiced their newly acquired skills on us during a speed networking session. For me, this was probably the most fun event of the entire week. It was an opportunity to really get to know the athletes, to understand their concerns about the future, and offer career advice to them.
Ending with the future in mind.
On Saturday morning I met with athletes one-on-one to offer additional career advice and to educate them about how they can work with Adecco to find part-time flexible work, and a full-time career. Saturday afternoon the summit officially ended and the athletes made their way home.
What a week! I’m so thankful for the opportunity that Adecco has provided me to be part of the ACE program. Even on a limited basis, working with and speaking to these unbelievably talented athletes is really such an honor and privilege. They motivate and inspire me and the rest of the country with their perseverance and grit. Those are qualities that make them excellent employees #Hirearinger. They have some really amazing stories to tell, and I look forward to following their future endeavors. Go Team USA!