Alena Olsen in action (Photo credit: USA Rugby)

American rugby star Alena Olsen’s dream to play in her first Olympics has been delayed for a year with the postponement of the Tokyo Games until July 2021. USA Rugby has already qualified, and Olsen aims to do what it takes to make the squad over the next year and change.

While Olsen has to wait to realize one goal, she is moving forward on achieving another — making a positive difference in the climate change fight — by becoming an EcoAthletes Supporter. Keenly aware of the existential nature of the climate crisis, she knows that humanity has to pick up the pace of the #climatecomeback. And Olsen is not one to sit on the sidelines.

“I just feel like I care, to the point where I can’t keep my concerns about climate change to myself,” Olsen said. “That is why I am using my platform as a member of USA Rugby to talk about climate change. I want those conversations to amplify optimistically what we can do together, from innovation to resilience and more.”

Alena Olsen (Photo credit: Team USA)

Olsen and several of her USA rugby teammates recently spoke out in strong, united fashion when they released a video urging fans to sign on to the Global Climate Pledge, an initiative led by the U.S. Green Chamber of Commerce. The goal is to get two billion people — roughly one quarter of the world’s population — to make real reductions in their personal carbon footprints.

Joining the EcoAthletes Supporters team was a logical next step since Olsen believes athletes need to bring the same intensity to the climate fight as they have on other more ubiquitous social issues.

“Sport has the power to transcend borders and beliefs, reaching every crevice of the world,” shared the University of Michigan grad. “In a time when sport is being used as a platform for gender inequality and racial inequality, we can’t leave the climate conversation out. EcoAthletes gives me the support and the connections to make meaningful and palpable change.”

Olsen’s innovativeness, persistence and passion are assets for Team USA on the rugby pitch. Those qualities will also serve her well as she helps EcoAthletes pursue its mission to educate and deploy athletes to speak out on climate change.

You can reach Alena Olsen on Twitter and Instagram via @AlenaOlsen