WOA helps grant Wish of a Lifetime

16 | 10 | 2018

With a rapidly expanding population, senior citizens in the United States are increasingly at risk of isolation, depression and a range of associated health problems.

US Olympic skier Jeremy Bloom OLY and his Wish of a Lifetime foundation – recipient of a WOA Service to Society grant earlier this year - is hoping to change that, helping elderly people across the country fulfil their lifelong dreams, fight loneliness and enjoy vibrant life experiences once more.

Bloom, who founded Wish of a Lifetime in 2008, appeared at both the 2002 Salt Lake City and 2006 Turin Olympic Winter Games and is the only Olympian to be drafted into the National Football League (NFL). After travelling the world through sport, Bloom recognised how much different cultures valued the elderly and vowed to bring a similar respect to his homeland.

“Throughout my athletic career I have seen first-hand the way in which different cultures treat their elderly - often with respect, adoration and empowerment,” said Bloom. “Thanks to WOA, I am proud to be bringing these values to our older generation right here in the US.

“I believe that sport has the power to change lives – young and old – and it is empowering to see people well into their 80s and 90s loving life once again.”

Wish of a Lifetime has fulfilled life-changing experiences and wishes to 123 seniors, across 30 US states and four countries, including 88-year old Ellie, an avid skier who at the age of 82 was told she would never take to the slopes again. Under careful guidance, Wish of a Lifetime and Bloom flew Ellie to Colorado where she was able to join the Olympian in one last downhill ski.

Through the initiative, Bloom is aiming to change wider social perception of the treatment of the elderly across the US. By empowering the oldest generations to achieve new heights. Bloom hopes that society will view and value them as the inspirations they are.

Service to Society

The Service to Society Grant programme was first launched by WOA in 2016 to help fund Olympian-led, sustainable community projects that promote the Olympic values. Six recipients received grants in the second round of funding earlier this year: Palau, Japan, Moldova, Cape Verde, Chile and the United States of America.

Every year National Olympians Associations are invited to apply for funding for projects, initiatives and activities that enhance the role of Olympians in society and support them in their life transition.

The application window for 2018 is now closed.