Adoption Stories from the 2020 Olympics

Our Favorite Stories from the Tokyo OlympicsAdopted Athletes and their Families  

By Diane Ferraro, CEO 

Who would have known that the 2020 Olympics (taking place in 2021) would shine a spotlight on the beauty of adoption?  

Our ministry’s headquarters in Colorado Springs is just minutes from the US Olympic Training Center, and we’ve been cheering for local hero/Paralympic swimmer Jessica Long since we saw her featured in a Super Bowl commercial.   

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Olympian Jessica Long, with Adoptive Mom Beth Long, in Toyota Commercial

By now you’ve likely seen the Toyota commercial, titled Upstream at least 20 times. You know the one, where you cry every single time you see it:  the entire screen is filled with an ocean of water as Jessica swims upstream. Jessica’s mother, Beth, is seen in her kitchen, filled with water, and answers a call from a Siberian orphanage. On the other end of the conversation, we hear that a baby girl was born with a rare condition that will require her legs be amputated. When sharing this heartbreaking news with prospective parents, the orphanage likely assumed that the adoption would not be finalized.  

Yet we hear this mother say, confidently, “It might not be easy, but it will be amazing.”  

Jessica stops her swim, lifts her goggles, and turns back to her adoptive mom and smiles.  

How incredible that Toyota, a $240 billion corporation, has invested millions to promote not only this talented athlete, but has brought worldwide attention to adoption. 

Yul Moldauer – Gymnastics  

This past week we were introduced to another Colorado-based Olympian, Yul Moldauer. This young gymnast first caught my attention not only with his confidence on the pommel horse, but with his Flock of Seagulls flashback hair. The sports commentator shared that Yul was adopted as a baby from a South Korean orphanage. He grew up on a farm outside of Fort Collins, Colo. He was born prematurely and had medical challenges, leading doctors to fear that he wouldn’t have a normal life. Yet his adoptive parents, Orsa and Peter, signed him up for a free tumbling class at the local gym, and now their son is competing on the U.S. Olympic team.  

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U.S. Olympic Gymnast Yul Moldauer, Adopted from South Korea at 5 Months Old

Simone Biles – Gymnast, 32 Olympic and World Championship medalist  

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America’s sweetheart, gymnast Simone Biles, was in foster care before being adopted by her grandparents.   

Paige McPherson – TaeKwonDo and Olympic Medalist 

Paige is a three-time Olympian & Olympic Bronze Medalist, competing for Team USA in TaeKwonDo. Her big, happy family including four other adopted siblings, including big brother Evan (adopted from Korea) got her hooked on TaeKwonDo  

We love Paige’s Instagram profile that includes “Trust in the Lord, & He shall direct your path.” (Proverbs 3:5-6).  

Congratulations to these Olympic athletes. We pay tribute to their birth moms who chose life, and send a big thank you to their parents who adopted them and encouraged them to pursue their dreams of competing on the world stage!  

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