8th annual Gold Meets Golden Event goes virtual

Gold
(Nadia Comaneci, Nicole Kidman)

The 8th annual “GOLD MEETS GOLDEN” event has gone virtual this year, with inspiring “Stay Gold” conversations between Hollywood’s most loved actors and athletes.

While usually taking place during the Golden Globes, the pandemic pivoted LGBTQ organizers Charley C. Walters and Scott Orlin to create a more intimate video event surrounding the 2021 Olympics, raising money for the much-loved sports charity organization, Angel City Sports.

“Angel City Sports has been a perfect charity partner for Gold Meets Golden for several years now,” enthused Walters. “Since its inception 7 years ago, ACS has provided the opportunity for hundreds of children in the disabled community to find an outlet in Adaptive Sports. We’ve seen first-hand how those introductions enhance their lives. It is so wonderful to know that the children we are helping via this charity will one day compete for our own Paralympics in Los Angeles in 2028!”  

Conducting the conversations online has turned out to be a blessing, as Walters was able to include many impressive international celebrities and athletes who normally can’t travel to Los Angeles for the in-person, Beverly Hills charity bash. 

“Technology allowed us to connect personalities from the UK to Australia to Japan, and to spread the theme of Gold Meets Golden and Angel City Sports to a broader, worldwide audience,” he said. 

Among the many exciting virtual video conversations taking place is between actress Nicole Kidman and the equally legendary gymnast, Nadia Comaneci.

“Nicole is a huge fan of the Olympics and Paralympics and even once dreamt of being an Olympic swimmer in her home country of Australia,”  Walters noted. “She attends as many Olympics Games as she can but this time, has obviously posed limitations. Gold Meets Golden is a great way for her and the entire Hollywood community to show love to these esteemed athletes. She has been a true champion for the cause by lending her support for all these years.”

Other fantastic chats are between Billy Porter with Track & Field High Jumper Vashti Cunningham:

Sasha Baron Cohen with UK Diver Tom Daley:

The cast of Apple TV’s Ted Lasso (Hannah Waddingham, Brett Goldstein, Nick Mohammed, Juno Temple and Phil Dunster) with World-Cup winning Soccer players Alex Morgan and Crystal Dunn:

Ginnifer Goodwin and Josh Dallas with Paralympic runner Roderick Townsend & Olympian Ty-Butts Townsend:

And Matt Bomer with Paralympic racer Tatyana McFadden:

The series will also feature a special Paralympic-inspired musical performance of Diane Warren and Laura Pausini’s Oscar-nominated “Lo Si / Seen,” with special guest Blake Stadnik (“This is Us”), who will represent the visually impaired community.


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The online conversations have been so popular that many more celebrities are stepping forward to record more thought on the Games. It is expected they will post prior to the start of the Paralympics. 

“One of our main objectives with Gold Meets Golden was to provide a bridge between actors and athletes; an opportunity for each to share their own story about techniques and preparations,” added Orlin.

“With our ‘In Conversation’ series, viewers are provided with a truly special opportunity to witness this mutual admiration of this grouping as they each share some very personal perspectives.”

For their VIP sponsors, Gold Meets Golden 2021 is working with a variety of partners who support both Hollywood & sporting industries.

“Our brands came up with some very clever ways to enjoy the Games from home… for example, by supplying ingredients for a Tequila Herradura “Golden Angel” cocktail to all our participants,” said Walters. 

Herradura Recipe for the “Golden Angel” Cocktail:

“We also loved seeing the reaction from the Angel City Sports athletes who truly appreciated gifts like a 24K Theragun massager, Gold Slip sleep mask and Gold ‘That Neck Pillow,’ all of which helps balance their competition and rest time.”

Angel City Sports athletes for “Theragun”

“It was an honor to be asked to help support such a worthy organization,” said That Neck Pillow’s inventor Lynthia Muller. “Getting involved with the charity serves as a reminder that we all need someone and that we should always help one another when we can. These pillows help improve posture, relieve pain and can help these athletes destress after a workout.”

Angel City Sports athletes for “Slip”:

Added Dr. Jason Wersland, Founder and Chief Wellness Officer of Therabody: “We are proud to partner with Gold Meets Golden, and to have been able to provide Theragun percussive therapy devices to all participating celebrities, athletes and para-athletes. I know this will help them. And, we’re so honored to support Angel City Sports para-athletes who are using the devices as part of their training and recovery and to help with life’s physical challenges.”

Angel City Sports athletes for “ThatNeckPillow”

Zappo’s Adaptive also stepped up to the plate by creating some custom adaptive outfits based on the children’s disabilities and lifestyles. “The athletes’ reactions upon opening these gifts were priceless,” said Walters.

In addition, RedBull and Deloitte are helping support conversations for their own endorsed athletes, and the popular app FASHWIRE is helping athletes who want to start their own fashion lines following the Olympics.

“This is FASHWIRE’s second year supporting Gold Meets Golden, and we are excited to help pivot from last year’s live fashion show to a new online series advising Olympians and Paralympians on how to start their own fashion lines, especially within the growing adaptive wear community,” said company spokesperson Kimberly Carney.

If you would like to donate: Text GMG to 71777 or use this link to donate.

Susan L. Hornik is an active contributor to Los Angeles Times, Grammy.comShondaland.com, InStyle, SFGate, LA Weekly, Irvine Weekly, MensHealth.comAARP.org, Los Angeles Blade, Washington Blade, Industrym.com.com, Videoage, Alo, Discover Hollywood

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