The greatest Norwegian sports hero starts a new way to help children in the poorest countries. I can't think of a nicer man, he helps so many kids who need it most.
Johann Koss is one of the greatest winter athletes of all time. The four-time Olympic Gold Medalist in speed skating made world headlines when he won three gold medals at the 1994 Lillehammer Games in the 1500, 5000 and 10,000 metre events. Over the course of his career, he broke a total of 11 world records, won three World All-Round Championships, and numerous World Cups and National Championships.
Johann's achievements on the ice have since been eclipsed by his efforts on behalf of "Right To Play," an athlete-driven international humanitarian organization that uses sport and play as a tool for the development of children and youth in the most disadvantaged areas of the world. Johann first became involved with Right To Play (then known as Olympic Aid) in 1993 when he visited the African country of Eritrea. He was profoundly moved by the plight of the children. At Lillehammer, Johann donated the prize money from his 1500m victory to Olympic Aid and challenged other athletes to do the same.
Since Lillehammer, Johann has dedicated himself to growing Right To Play into an internationally-recognized NGO and a leader in Sport for Development. Sport for Development uses sport and play to enhance the healthy physical and psycho-social development of children and build stronger communities. Today, Right To Play develops and implements child and community development programs in nearly 20 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America, working with UNICEF, UNHCR, GAVI and WHO.
He was declared "One of 100 Leaders of Tomorrow" by Time magazine