Three-time Olympian Tracy Evans will be the keynote speaker at Judson University’s Spring 2022 Commencement Ceremonies that will take place at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 7 at Judson’s Elgin campus (1151 N. State St.).
Evans is a three-time Olympian (1994, 1998, 2002) and national champion in freestyle skiing. She became the first aerial skier to perform both a double-twisting triple somersault and triple-twisting double somersault in competition. Equally impressive to her revolutionary performance on the snow are her trailblazing efforts to ensure sport delivers on the promise of its power, globally.
Following a volunteer trip to Rwanda in 2008, Evans founded Kids Play International (KPI), a nonprofit organization which aims to promote gender equity and the Olympic values by introducing less familiar sports to children in post-genocide affected countries. Grounded in the Olympic value of fair play, KPI leverages the positive attributes of sport to empower youth to challenge and shift gender, social and cultural norms that reinforce inequality. The organization creates a safe, positive environment through sport to renegotiate these harmful cultural norms, giving young girls the same opportunities as boys to reach their full potential and find better ways to live, work and play together. Evans is also a Casting Director who owns and operates AthleteSource CASTING, a national company based in Los Angeles, that discovers and auditions weekend warrior to Olympic athletes in the commercial, television and print industries.
Evans was chosen by the International Olympic Committee as one of five Olympians, and the first U.S. Olympian, to be recognized at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics for its Winter edition of Olympians for Life. She also received the 2018 Rings of Gold Individual award given by the United States Olympic Committee in recognition of her great achievements as an Olympian in her sport of Freestyle Skiing as well as the work she has done after competition with KPI. KPI was a finalist for the 2018 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Sports Award and a recipient of the 2016 Gatorade for the Love of Sports award for the Let’s Play Fair program in Rwanda.
Evans was recognized with the Athletes in Excellence award in 2014 and Female Athlete Philanthropist of the Year award from United Athletes Foundation in 2011 alongside Jerry Rice. Evans serves on the Advisory Board at James Madison University-Hart School of Hospitality, Sport and Recreation and is a Board of Trustee member at Judson University.
The ceremonies will also be live on the Judson University Facebook and YouTube accounts. Simply go to either page and like or subscribe to Judson on these platforms. For more details about Judson’s Commencement on May 7, visit JudsonU.edu/commencement.