Carl Lewis – Chair, Olympic Gold Medalist
Frederick Carlton “Carl” Lewis (born July 1, 1961) is one of America’s foremost athletes. He is America’s former track wonder child and field athlete, who won 10 Olympic medals, including nine gold, and 10 World Championships medals. His career span was impressive, from 1979 to 1996 when he won his last Olympic title and subsequently retired.
Lewis was a dominant sprinter and long jumper who topped the world rankings in the 100 m, 200 m and long jump events from 1981 to the early 1990s. He set world records in the 100 m, 4 × 100 m and 4 × 200 m relays. His world record in the indoor long jump has stood since 1984. His 65 consecutive victories in the long jump, achieved over a span of 10 years constitute one of sports’ longest undefeated streaks. Over the course of his athletics career, Lewis broke ten seconds for the 100 meters 15 times and broke 20 seconds for the 200 meters 10 times.
His accomplishments have led to numerous accolades, including being voted “World Athlete of the Century” by the International Association of Athletics Federations and “Sportsman of the Century” by the International Olympic Committee. He was named “Olympian of the Century” by Sports Illustrated and “Athlete of the Year” by Track & Field News in 1982, 1983, and 1984.
Dr. Michael Graham, Olympic Track and Field, Sports Psychologist
Michael was an alternate for the 1988 Olympic track and field team. He received his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. He also holds a Masters Degree in Psychology from Argosy University and a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Southern California. Michael has considerable experience providing therapy for young people and their families in multiple outpatient and residential settings. He has also provided therapeutic services for youth in Juvenile Camps, The California Counseling Center and the Los Angeles Unified School District. In addition to his mental health expertise, Michael is an accomplished Track and Field athlete. He set multiple high school records and in college where he was an 8 time All-American. He was a US Juniors National Champion in the 400 intermediate hurdles and a US Juniors Pan American Champion. He is a two time Olympic trial qualifier who has traveled the world representing the U.S. as an athlete. Michael has also served as a Social Relationship Coordinator for the United Nations and as a program Director for both the Carl Lewis Foundation and the American Diabetes Association.
Michael combines his unique skills and experiences as a mental health professional and as an athlete to provide leadership for Paradigm Malibu’s Young Athlete’s Program. He works to ensure that residential services are designed and implemented in a manner that allow each participant to meet or exceed both their treatment and their athletic goals.
Greg Louganis, Olympic Gold Medalist
At sixteen Greg Louganis took part in the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, where he placed second in the tower event, behind Italian sport legend Klaus Dibiasi. Two years later, with Dibiasi retired, Louganis won his first world title in the same event with the help of coach Ron O’Brien.
Louganis was pitted as the favorite for two golds in the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, but an American boycott of the games prevented him from participating. Louganis then won two titles at the world championships in 1982, where he became the first diver in the history of International meetings to get a perfect score of 10 from all seven judges. At the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, with record scores and leads over his opponents, Louganis won gold medals in both the springboard and tower diving events.
After winning two more world championship titles in 1986, he repeated his 1984 feat in the 1988 Seoul Olympics, despite suffering a concussion. During the preliminary rounds his head struck the springboard. He completed the preliminaries despite his injury, and earned the highest single score of the qualifying round for his next dive. He then repeated the dive during the finals, earning the gold medal by a margin of 25 points. In the 10m finals, he won the gold medal, performing a 3.4 difficulty dive in his last attempt, earning 86.70 points for a total of 638.61, surpassing silver medalist Xiong Ni by only 1.14 points. His comeback earned him the title of ABC’s World of Sports “Athlete of the Year” for 1988.
Rodney Peete, Professional Football Player
Rodney Peete is a former American football quarterback from the University of Southern California (USC) who played in the National Football League (NFL) for 16 years. He retired in 2004 and is now in broadcasting.
Peete’s professional career in the NFL spanned 16 seasons. Selected by the Detroit Lions in the 1989 NFL Draft, Peete was scheduled to start the season opener but sprained his knee in an exhibition game against the Los Angeles Rams and missed the first few games of the season. He would have been the first rookie quarterback to start for the Lions since 1968, when Greg Landry started.
His remarkable career was unfortunately marred by injury. In his first five NFL seasons with the Lions, he was forced to split time with Bob Gagliano, Erik Kramer, and former Heisman Trophy winner Andre Ware. His long career saw him spending time with the Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins, Philadelphia Eagles, and Oakland Raiders, Peete’s career appeared to be over until he became the starter for the Carolina Panthers in 2002, where he led the Panthers to a 7-9 record, an improvement over 1-15 the year before.
Peete finished his career with the most NFL career passing yards among QBs from USC, a record that was only eclipsed by Carson Palmer.
Janet Evans, Olympic Gold Medalist
Born in Fullerton, California, Evans started swimming competitively as a child. By the age of 11, she was setting national age group records in distance events. After swimming as a teenager for Fullerton Aquatics (FAST Swimming) and graduating from El Dorado High School, Evans attended Stanford University, where she swam for the Stanford Cardinal swimming and diving team from 1989 to 1991.
She received the Honda Sports Award for Swimming and Diving, recognizing her as the outstanding college female swimmer of the year in 1988–89. When the NCAA placed weekly hours limits on athletic training time, she quit the Stanford swim team to focus on training. She later attended the University of Texas at Austin before graduating from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications in 1994.
Evans was distinctive for her unorthodox “windmill” stroke and her inexhaustible cardio-respiratory reserves. Slight of build and short of stature, she more than once found herself competing and winning against bigger and stronger athletes, despite the fact that some of them were subsequently found to have been using performance-enhancing drugs.
Janet Evans was the 1989 recipient of the James E. Sullivan Award as the top amateur athlete in the United States. She was named Female World Swimmer of the Year by Swimming World Magazine in 1987, 1989, and 1990. After retiring from competitive swimming, Evans worked as a motivational speaker and has been in high demand.
Theus played his college basketball at UNLV for head coach Jerry Tarkanian from 1976 to 1978. In three seasons with the Runnin’ Rebels, he averaged 12.9 points, 4.4 assists and 4.3 rebounds per game. Theus, who became one of the best players to ever don a UNLV uniform, shot 81 percent from the free-throw line for his career while amassing 1,177 career points (21st on the all-time scoring list), 401 career assists and 389 career rebounds in just 91 collegiate games. In 1989, Theus was inducted into the UNLV Athletic Hall of Fame and in 1997, he became one of only six players in school history to have his jersey retired by the Rebels.
Theus was selected by the Chicago Bulls with the 9th pick of the 1978 NBA Draft. A 6’7″ guard, Theus averaged 16.3 points per game during his first season and was the runner-up for the 1979 NBA Rookie of the Year Award. He followed his stellar rookie campaign with a strong sophomore season, in which he averaged 20.2 points and 6.3 assists for the Bulls. In 1981, Theus continued his impressive play during his tenure with the Sacramento Kings, averaging at least 18 points per game in each full season he played for them. Theus is one of only two players in league history listed at 6′ ft 6″ or taller to tally more than 750 assists in an NBA season (788 in 1985–86), the other player is NBA legend Magic Johnson.
He ended his NBA career with productive one-year stints for the Atlanta Hawks (1988–89), Orlando Magic (1989–90, picked him from the Hawks in the expansion draft), and New Jersey Nets (1990–91), he left the league in 1991 with career totals of 19,015 points and 6,453 assists.
In 2005, Reggie Theus started a successful coaching career and Reggie Theus is currently the head coach of California State University at Northridge.
Brian McGrattan , National Hockey League
Brian McGrattan is a player for the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks organization. He has played in the NHL since 2005 and has 27 career points. He is best known for being a stand up teammate and enforcer, logging over 600 penalty minutes with five teams across his 10-year career. Brian still holds the AHL record for penalty minutes in a season.
Early in his career, Brian overcame alcohol abuse and is currently a partner in the NHL’s substance abuse program to help mentor fellow NHL players with substance use disorders. Currently he is earning a degree in Addiction Counseling to continue his work supporting those suffering from addiction related issues. In addition, he is an advocate for anti-bullying charities and volunteers with the organization “Be The Game”- a camp which supports underserved teens.
Katherine Star, Olympic Swimmer (United Kingdom)
Katherine Starr is a swim prodigy who was world ranked at the age of 14. She is a two-time Olympic swimmer for Great Britain (1984 and 1988). In 1986, she won two silver medals at the Commonwealth Games and was a 14 time All-American swimmer at the University of Texas where she swam on three NCAA championship teams for the Lady Longhorns.
Since retiring, she has spoken publicly about various forms of abuse in sports and has earned a reputation for her expertise and eloquence on sexual abuse in sports. Safe4Athletes was born out of Katherine’s personal experience with abuse. Having been an elite athlete who endured sexual abuse during the course of her career with no resources available to help her, she simply wanted to do something to ensure that athletes following in her footsteps did not have to repeat her experience.
Katherine has been largely responsible for changing the culture in the sports community to one that puts athlete welfare and safety first. Her work creates a positive sport environment free from sexual abuse, bullying and harassment. In the summer of 2011, Starr contacted former teammates, sport administrators and others to ask if they would help form a non-profit organization to help abused athletes and their parents and provide model policies and procedures to sports clubs so that they are prepared to protect young athletes. Safe4Athletes was envisioned as a national advocacy organization dedicated to athlete welfare where every athlete is provided a safe and positive environment free of sexual abuse, bullying and harassment. The success of her mission is evident in the increased attention this topic has received including features with NBC Sports Radio, the New York Times, NPR’s “The Takeaway,” CBS Sports Radio, Take Part Five (PIVOT Channel), Aljazeera America as well other nationally recognized media outlets in sports.
Katherine actively continues to pressure National Governing Bodies to adopt stronger polices for all athletic clubs and programs. She has championed important legislation to implement policies to give athletes rights at all levels of sports.