US Olympian Helps Guinean Girls Jump Ahead


Mama Camara, center, trains in double Dutch jump rope. (Courtesy photo / International Medalist Association)
American Ron Freeman won gold and bronze medals in track at the 1968 Summer Games in Mexico City. But the former Olympian says his greater legacy is the youth fitness and mentoring program he and his West African wife started here.

“I’m trying to build something that lasts longer than me,” said Freeman, who is 67.

What he, Mariama Sy Freeman and their team have built is an after-school program that trains girls in double Dutch jump rope and teaches young men and women to become coaches and mentors.

The Freemans’ nonprofit International Medalist Association supports recreational team sports for thousands of Guinean girls ages 6 to 17 who traditionally get little physical exercise beyond housekeeping, walking or dancing. In the crowded capital city of one of the world’s poorest countries, “there are no Boys and Girls Clubs,” Ron Freeman said.

Read the rest of the article here.

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