Adam Rippon and Jussi-Pekka Kajaala at LA Pride Parade with LA28





This week, LA28’s inaugural athlete fellows are passing the torch to a third cohort of six new fellows as part of the LA28 Games’ Athlete Fellowship Program for retired Olympians and Paralympians.


The year-long program provides elite athletes with two six-month rotations within LA28’s operational teams, giving them the opportunity to gain business and networking experiences once they’ve retired from their professional athletic careers.


“Olympic and Paralympic athletes spend their entire lives working toward the singular goal of competing at the Olympic and Paralympic Games, and once they’ve achieved this goal, they often look for guidance on how to begin the next chapter of their lives,” said Janet Evans, LA28 Chief Athlete Officer and five-time Olympic medalist. “LA28’s fellowship program empowers retired athletes to build an entirely new set of skills and gain confidence and expertise in the workplace while still being a part of the Movement they love so much.”


With athletes at the heart of the Games, LA28 is committed to delivering meaningful, positive change in athletes’ lives. In addition to providing elite athletes with second career experience, the LA28 Games benefit from the invaluable and actionable insights from these athlete fellows as LA28 works to create an amazing Games experience and legacy for athletes and fans.

LA28 Staff at LA Pride Parade 2022


“Being an LA28 Athlete Fellow has been one the most fulfilling experiences of my life,” said Octavio Alesi, Venezuelan Olympic swimmer. “To have the opportunity to advance in my professional career while learning from some of the best leaders in sports is a dream come true.”
LA28 Athlete Fellows - Kamilla Vaksman, Izzy Cerullo, Natalie McGiffert


Through the program’s first two fellowship classes, athletes representing five countries not only gained real-world work experience as LA28 athlete fellows – three even made the jump to permanent, full-time positions.
Cody Mattern, Olympian Fencing


“LA28's Athlete Fellowship Program has bridged my experience as an Olympic athlete into a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to grow with and give back to the Olympic and Paralympic Movement,” said Cody Mattern, U.S. Olympic fencer and Associate, Technology Education and User Adoption, LA28.  “I have gone from Athlete Fellow to full-time LA28 employee thanks to the courage and vision of this program. I am proud and grateful to be part of the human legacy of LA28.”