Pho3nix Athlete Program Expands Stable of Tokyo Bound Athletes

April 26, 2021

38 athletes from 16 countries across six continents, competing in 20 disciplines.

The Pho3nix Foundation has added a further eight athletes to their Athlete Program, assisting them on their journey to Tokyo 2021.

Skateboarder Margielyn Didal (PHI), surfer Billy Stairmand (NZL), mountain bike cyclist Janika Loiv (EST), hurdler Yasmin Giger (SUI), sprinter Leni Shida (UGA), discus thrower Greg Thompson (GBR), artistic gymnast Jorge Vega (GUA), and taekwondoin Jesus Tortosa Cabrera (ESP) are the latest additions to the Program, which aims to assist underfunded Olympic/Paralympic athletes from around the world to compete on the world’s biggest stage and inspire their communities.

They join what is now a truly global and diverse roster: 38 athletes from 16 countries across six continents, competing in 20 disciplines. This number includes eight international athletes previously announced and 22 athletes from Poland, where Pho3nix was founded.

Combined, the group has already won over 100 medals in international competition, and with the Pho3nix Foundation’s help may add to that number in Tokyo.

These athletes have immense Olympic medal potential and are trailblazers for niche sports in their respective countries. Didal (PHI) and Stairmand (NZL) will be part of history as their respective sports of skateboarding and surfing debut at these Games. Loiv is on track to be the first female Estonian cyclist to compete at the Olympics, while Vega aims to be the first Guatemalan Olympic gymnast.

Not all sports enjoy sufficient funding to allow their athletes to compete to their fullest on the big stage. Many are forced to combine their training with full time jobs, and fund their own training expenses. Despite their relative lack of resources, Pho3nix athletes give significantly of themselves in paving the way for future generations — through mentoring, coaching and, more broadly, assisting their communities during a period of uncertainty.

The Pho3nix Foundation has thus pledged €8,000 to support each athlete with travel, training, and equipment. This lightens the financial and mental load and enables them to focus on being at their competitive best on their biggest day, in turn inspiring their communities across the globe with the power of sport and their personal journeys.

Pho3nix Foundation founder Sebastian Kulczyk says, “We all have our ups and downs. People will find different ways to face their troubles; for many it’s finding your sport which helps you grow, which builds you up. And that’s why Pho3nix, like the ancient legend of the phoenix, represents rising up from the ashes through sports.”

The selected athletes exemplify the Pho3nix ethos: rising above circumstance to reach for their dreams and inspire the next generation. The Pho3nix Foundation is honoured to partner with them on their journey to Tokyo.

About Pho3nix Foundation

The Pho3nix Foundation is a not-for-profit with the sole purpose of assisting and inspiring children through sport. It sponsors the Pho3nix Team, an international team of elite athletes who embody the ideals of the Pho3nix: triumph over failure through revitalisation, resilience, and passion, becoming a symbol of hope and strength.

For more information on the Pho3nix Athlete Program contact:

Lisa Pringle
Head of PR and Communications
Mana Sports and Entertainment Group