By Cody McDavis, It’s On Us Student Advisory Committee Regional Advisor, NCAA SAAC Member.
Athletes around the world answer to a higher calling and carry a heavy burden to perform in their respective sport. Everyday athletes push their limits to be greater than they were yesterday — this is especially true for Olympic athletes. Why? The answer is two-fold: Olympic athletes desire to perform at a championship level on a world stage and they want to do so while bringing glory to the institution they represent — Go USA!
Performing on the world stage carries with it a specific and unique burden in itself. Not just the judges, but the world is looking at you through a magnifying glass taking note of each action. It is so important that our Olympians recognize this opportunity and take advantage of it so they not only push the envelope in terms of athletic performance, but also positive societal change. From the youth to the elderly, our society will watch as magnificent Olympians impress us with their athletic talents. It is imperative that these same Olympians also impress upon us their desire to see reform, especially when it comes to the prevalence of sexual assault violence. As Olympian performances inspire youth around the world to start playing in sports, Olympian calls to action will be the catalyst for the change we need to see in our society’s norms.
It is encouraging to see Olympians like Aly Raisman and Jordan Burroughs join It’s On Us in the call for change. Their words are as transcending as their performances; compounding their greatness. While it will certainly take more work from us as a society along with our Olympians, we are indebted to those who take their unique opportunities to call for positive reform. Our kids, the future Olympians, will enjoy the fruit of our efforts as we strive to provide a much safer world in which they can go for Gold.
Cody McDavis is a December 2015 graduate of University of Northern Colorado, where he was a member of the men’s basketball team. Cody was also a member of the National Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, where he engaged with the It’s On Us campaign. He serves as the lead of the It’s On Us National Video Competition, which was created in 2014 in recognition of the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) partnership with the White House to spread awareness of sexual assault on collegiate campuses. In the two years since the competition began, it has actively engaged college campuses across the nation by challenging students to create a video addressing sexual assault intervention in a creative and unique way. Ultimately, this competition has the goal of establishing collegiate students whom actively intervene in situations where sexual assault could occur and can provide resources to fellow students. Cody is starting his first year at UCLA Law School this fall and continuing to work It’s On Us Student Advisory Committee as the Region 1 Regional Advisor.