I believe every child should have an equal opportunity to achieve his or her full potential
Tracy Evans Land has made it her life’s work to impact the lives of others through sports. Tracy grew up in Hornell, New York in an avid sports family of top-tier athletes. From a very early age, Tracy was snow skiing and competing in both gymnastics and Equestrian riding. Tracy’s brother Bob – a U.S. Freestyle Ski Team Aerialist and two-time Olympic Coach – introduced Tracy to the world of Freestyle Aerials in 1989. Though she swore she’d never do something that crazy, Tracy’s raw athletic ability combined with her background in trampolines and gymnastics made her a natural in Aerials. Tracy made the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team in 1991 and was one of the first women in the world to do both a triple-twisting double back flip and a double-twisting triple back flip. Tracy competed in the 1994, 1998, and 2002 Olympic Games, and earned the title of 2002 U.S. National Champion. After retiring from the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team, Tracy started AthleteSource Casting, which is the premier sports and active lifestyle casting agency for the commercial, print, film and television industries. AthleteSource’s unique ability to find the most appropriate and authentic athletic talent for each individual project has been AthleteSource’s hallmark since the company’s inception. In 2008, Tracy was encouraged by her mother to take a volunteer trip to Africa. After spending 2 weeks in an orphanage playing sports familiar to the kids as well as introducing them to new sports, she saw first-hand just how much these kids, if provided with the opportunity, could learn simple values such as excellence, friendship and fair play through sport. Recognizing the power of sport from her own experience as an Olympic athlete, Evans returned from Africa and founded the nonprofit organization Kids Play International (KPI) in 2008. KPI’s mission is to use sport and the Olympic to promote gender equity in communities impacted by genocide. KPI currently operates the only gender- and sport-for-development program in the rural village of Gatagara, Rwanda and looks to expand to Cambodia in 2018. Built upon the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and fair play, KPI’s Let’s Play Fair program and curriculum uses sport and interactive discussions to teach boys and girls not only how to treat each other with deeper levels of kindness and respect, but also to better understand each other’s contributions, on the sports field and in life. KPI also organizes annual volunteer trips that are led by KPI’s Olympic Athlete Ambassadors. KPI was the recipient of the 2016 Gatorade for the Love of Sports award for the Let’s Play Fair program in Rwanda. Tracy was honored to receive the Athletes in Excellence award in 2014 and Female Athlete Philanthropist of the Year award from United Athletes Foundation in 2011. In addition, Tracy serves on the Athlete Advisory Board of All Sports United.