Boston, MA, August 8, 2020 – Flame Bearers, a podcast profiling female Olympic and Paralympic athletes from around the world, is now available for download. The launch occurs on what would have been the final day of competition for the 2020 Tokyo Games, the first Olympic Games to be postponed since World War II. 

Funded by the Harvard Kennedy School’s Women and Public Policy Program’s Summer Internship Grant, Flame Bearers aims to inspire listeners with harrowing stories of resilience, advocacy, and strength. Each episode of the 15 part series follows one athlete’s journey as she navigates the complexities of difficult daily tradeoffs, gender equality, and tensions surrounding aging bodies, careers, and motherhood. Each Olympian/Paralympian is joined in conversation by a personal mentor or mentee to reflect on her journey and by subject matter experts to contextualize what each athlete discusses. 

The first three episodes are available today.

  • Episode 1: Becky Sauerbrunn, US Soccer: Profiles her fight for pay equity
  • Episode 2: Sanda Aldass, International Olympic Committee, Refugee Athlete Scholarship-Holder, Judo: Follows her escape from the Syrian Civil War and journey into motherhood
  • Episode 3: Manasi Joshi, Paralympic Indian Badminton star: Details how her leg amputation allowed her to become an advocate for disability rights

Flame Bearers is executive produced and hosted by Jamie Mittelman, a Masters candidate at the Harvard Kennedy School. A lifelong athlete, Mittelman desires to create a space for hope in a time of uncertainty and pain.  

 “I’m passionate about empowering and elevating the experiences of women and girls,” said Mittelman. “It’s incredibly hard for people to be what they can’t see, so I want to help tell these stories so little girls all around the world can see who they can become.”

Flame Bearers is available for download on Apple Podcasts (iTunes), Spotify, Google Podcasts, Tune In, and Stitcher

About Flame Bearers: Flame Bearers: The Women Athletes Carrying Tokyo’s Torch spotlights some of our world’s greatest masters of resiliency and arms listeners with tips and calls to action for how we can all better stand together in solidarity. This podcast brings 2021 female Olympians’ and Paralympians’ experiences to life, giving them a platform of celebration and an opportunity to share their learnings. This podcast is made possible by the Harvard Kennedy School’s Women and Public Policy Program’s Summer Internship Grant. Follow the podcast on social at the hashtag #FlameBearers