A Champion for Olympians
Elizabeth Ramsey MS ’12 may not be a gold medalist but she is a champion for
amateur athletes in her role as the first executive director of the United States Olympic
& Paralympic Athletes’ Advisory Council (USOPC AAC). The newly-created position
supports Team USA’s Olympians, Paralympians and hopefuls in their efforts to advance athlete-led initiatives in the areas of athlete safety and well-being, marketing and promotion opportunities, performance funding, career transition and more.
Now, Ramsey serves an athlete led council tasked with inspiring positive changes, improving quality of life and encouraging better communication among all Team USA athletes. For the Indiana native, it’s game on.
“I was attracted to this new position because I understand where the amateur athlete is coming from – I’ve been there,” explains Ramsey, who holds the record in women’s basketball as all-time leading scorer and rebounder at the University of Indianapolis. “With a few exceptions, the majority of Olympic and Paralympic athletes are everyday people with jobs, working hard and making great sacrifices.”
After playing as a walk-on freshman year at the University of Indianapolis, Ramsey earned a full athletic scholarship and graduated with a dual major in psychology and political science in 2001. She went on to earn a law degree from Indiana University McKinney School of Law and soon after landed a position as law clerk with the NCAA. The job turned into a 10-year career in the world of amateur athletics. She later stepped into the professional sports arena, serving as director of basketball operations and intelligence for the NBA’s Sacramento Kings.
During her time with the NCAA, Ramsey says she wanted to enhance her education in sport administration to help advance her career. After researching various schools, she found the online master’s program at Canisius College, noting the flexibility of the courses and the solid reputation of the school.
“I’m probably using what I learned in the Canisius program now more than in any other position I’ve held,” she says. “The marketing and administrative aspects are especially helpful as I work with Olympic and Paralympic athletes in securing sponsorships and so forth.”
Ramsey attended the 2021 Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo this past summer, living in the village with the athletes. She currently lives in Colorado Springs, CO, where the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee and Training Center are headquartered. With the 2022 Winter Olympics scheduled for February in Beijing, it’s a marathon for Ramsey as she champions the cause of Team USA athletes.