A four-time Olympic Gold Medalist, Johann Olav Koss is a legendary winter athlete, a pioneer in the field of Sport for Development and founder, President, and CEO of Right To Play.
In 1993 Johann visited the African country of Eritrea where he was profoundly moved by the plight of the children. After winning three speed skating Gold medals at the 1994 Olympics in Lillehammer, he donated prize money to Olympic Aid - a sport oriented fund-raising initiative to aid millions of children in war-torn areas. In 2000 after working on behalf of Olympic Aid for six years, Johann founded Right To Play to go beyond fund raising and directly implement programs for children around the world.
Johann is active in many sport-related causes. In 1997, Johann was appointed Chairman of the Norwegian Government Forum against Drugs and Doping. He is also on the board of an organization called “MOT” (Courage) that mobilizes Norwegian athletes in the fight against drugs and doping. He was a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Athlete’s Commission from 1998 to 2002. He also served as a founding and executive board member of the World Anti-Doping Agency (2000 to 2002) where he initiated the Athlete anti-doping passport. In 1994, Johann was appointed Special Representative for Sport for UNICEF International.
He has received numerous awards including Sportsman of the Year by Sports Illustrated (1994) and the Child Survival Award by the Carter Center. Johann was declared "One of 100 Future Leaders of Tomorrow" by TIME Magazine, and "One of 1,000 Global Leaders" by the World Economic Forum. Johann completed his undergraduate medical training at the University of Queensland, and his Executive MBA at the Joseph L. Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. He has Honorary Doctor of Laws Degrees from Brock University and University of Calgary.