About Flame Bearers

Our Mission (What We Do)

We celebrate the journeys of  Beijing’s unsung women* Olympians & Paralympians and provide action-oriented analysis of the issues closest to their hearts. We share their rarely heard stories and are a microphone for women who are true masters of resiliency. Through storytelling, we use sport as a vehicle for issues such as racial justice, disability bias or pay equity.

*Includes all people who participate in women's sport (most of whom identify as women)

Purpose (Why)

To provide opportunity for both athletes and listeners alike:

  • For women Olympians and Paralympians to share their dreams, struggles, and lessons of mental fortitude, overcoming stereotypes, and building resilience

  • For listeners to learn from the life-changing experiences of these elite women athletes and their mentors/mentees

We seek to learn and grow from the unprecedented, instilling hope in a time of uncertainty.


Photo credit to Aaron Anderson Visuals 

Our Goals



Celebrate the Tokyo Games’ woman-identifying Olympians and Paralympians, digging into what being a top woman athlete means in real life.



Champion the knowledge these athletes (and their mentors/mentees) have gathered.



Gain insight into the connectivity of our top athletes: every athlete got to where she is at least in part due to the support of others.



Host, Jamie Mittelman launched the Flame Bearers Podcast to spotlight woman-identifying Olympians and Paralympians. This podcast is the COVID-adaption of a dream communications position Jamie had been pitching to the International Olympic Committee — details here. She has a Masters of Public Administration (MPA) graduate student at the  Harvard Kennedy School (HKS). In the fall of 2020, fellow HKS graduate students Michelle Poulin and Maddie Ulanow joined the team. The trio brings 2021 women Olympians’ and Paralympians’ experiences to life, providing athletes with a platform of celebration and an opportunity to share their learnings. This podcast is made possible with the support of the HKS Women and Public Policy Program and Harvard Innovation Lab.

The podcast is not about Jamie, Michelle or Maddie so if you want to learn about their journeys, you won’t get very far by listening to the episodes; they’re about the world’s top women athletes. That said, Jamie’s Flame Bearers blog is keeping the grant-funding alive. Head on over to the blog to learn more.