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Chris Lieto

From Openwaterpedia

Chris Lieto is a professional triathlete and founder of MORE Than Sport™, an organization headquartered on the Big Island of Hawaii that aims to inspire others to help those the world forgets.

MORE Than Sport™

MORE Than Sport™ believes in the power of sport to Inspire, Transform, and Redeem a broken world. It is a global movement of professional athletes, corporations, charities, and everyday heroes who live for MORE than simply competing to win. MORE Than Sport™ is a group of storytellers. They shares stories of incredible transformation and change for good in the world through sport - whether it's everyday athletes coming together to fund a mobile library in Thailand or installing water filtration systems in Vietnam, professional cyclists building homes in Mexico, pro surfers inspiring youth, or businesses funding cleft palate surgeries.

Origins of MORE Than Sport™

Lieto explains, "It was the day before a big race in Mexico where I was staying in a beautiful all-inclusive resort. As I left my air conditioned room to bike along the coastline course something caught my eye. Only 5 miles from the resort I saw several young children perched in the trees. What I saw next changed my life. I peered in deeper and just beyond the tall shrubs lived a family in conditions not fit for any human being. It was an overwhelming contrast from the safe brick walls that form my home, their house was constructed of flimsy cardboard boxes and scraps of wood. My wheels kept spinning and between the trees I saw snapshots of extreme poverty. There was an entire village of people living on the land, with only the trees to protect them from the blazing hot sun.

As a husband and a father, my heart broke for these people. My mind immediately turned to the thousands back at the resort. Most people simply fly into this beautiful tourist town, spend lots of money, and never see the desperation outside the hotel gates. I realized that not only is this kind of poverty apparent in third world countries, it's happening in the very places we're competing. The grounds we race on belong to a people in need. Instead of ignoring the problem, why not use sport as a vehicle for change? I decided that very moment that I would find a way to bring hope and restoration to those in need and MORE Than Sport was born.

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