Just as the Olympic machine was revving up, swimmer Amanda Beard and beach volleyball player Kerri Walsh released PSAs for two different non-profit organizations. Beard bared all for the animal rights group PETA, and Walsh struck that pose every single one of you have come to love for UNTIL, an AIDS awareness organization.
Beard launched her PETA anti-fur campaign inside the athletes’ village in Beijing, causing quite a stir. Of China’s fur industry, she said:
I have seen a lot of the videos, and [it] brings me to tears. What [some people] think is pretty is actually something that’s very gruesome and gross.
Unfortunately for Beard, that was the only noise she was able to make in the 2008 Beijing Games. She came in 18th in the 200m breast stroke, failing to make it past the preliminary rounds.
Walsh, on the other hand, has had a spectacular Olympics so far. She and Misty May-Treanor beat Belgium 24-22, 21-10 on Friday to advance to the quarterfinals of the Olympic beach volleyball tournament.
Her PSA is for an organization that raises AIDS awareness funds through the sale of about a hundred kinds of bracelets.
Also lending her name to UNTIL is future Olympian Candice Wiggins.
I’ll bet my house that Wiggins leads the U.S. women’s basketball team in London in 2012. And if there’s any justice in the world, Kerri Walsh will be there too.