United States Olympic Head Coach for Snowboarding and Freeskiing Teams, Mike Jankowski, is named today as the newest Laureus Ambassador.
Known universally as ‘Coach Janks’, he has worked with some of the greatest names in freeskiing and snowboarding, including Gretchen Bleiler, Kelly Clark, Arielle Gold, Taylor Gold, Danny Kass, Scotty Lago, Hannah Teter and the incomparable Shaun White.
Following the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Jankowski had coached US athletes to a total of 18 Winter Olympic medals in three Winter Olympiads – 2006, 2010 and 2014. He also coached his skiers and snowboarders to 20 medals at ten X Games between 2000 and 2009.
Jankowski was immediately in action for Laureus, joining Jill Vialet, CEO and Founder of Playworks, a US non-profit organisation which supports learning and physical health by providing safe and inclusive play to low-income students, to host leadership activities at the Timberline Lodge at Mt. Hood for a group of Playworks junior coaches.
Young adults and children are trained as Playworks coaches to work in their schools to run a variety of games and sports, as well as to teach techniques in group management, violence prevention and conflict resolution.
On behalf of partners Mercedes-Benz USA and IWC Schaffhausen, Laureus USA is committing US$750,000 to Playworks this year, going to projects in the cities of Detroit, Houston, Minneapolis, Phoenix and Portland.
Jankowski said: “As the newest Laureus Ambassador, I’m excited to join forces with Playworks to promote play for every child across the country and especially today in my hometown of Portland. I am very much looking forward to my duties as a Laureus Ambassador.”
Edwin Moses, Chairman of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, said: “Mike Jankowski is the epitome of a world class coach, and we could not be more excited to welcome him into the growing Laureus Family. We are looking forward to working with Mike with a joint mission of helping to drive the positive power of sports across the country.”