Steel Partners Holdings L.P. (NYSE: SPLP), a diversified global holding company, today announced a partnership with Morgan Stickney, a champion swimmer headed for the 2021 Paralympics in Tokyo. Morgan will be working with Steel Partners and its youth sports organization, Steel Sports, with the mission of inspiring youth to reach their potential on and off the field.
Both as a swimmer and advocate for people with disabilities, Morgan has a remarkable story. She grew up in Bedford, New Hampshire, and was one of the top-ranked swimmers in the United States, widely hailed as a future Olympian. Those plans were derailed by a foot injury, followed by the diagnosis of a rare vascular disease, leaving her in near-constant pain and an opioid-induced fog. She made the heartbreaking decision to amputate one leg, and then the other. She learned how to walk, and swim, all over again—twice. Despite significant obstacles, Morgan didn’t give up on her dreams of competing on the world stage. She continued training and, soon, racing. Now, she is a proud member of the 2021 U.S. Paralympic Team, competing in the 400-meter freestyle and 50-meter freestyle.
“Morgan’s life is a series of extraordinary achievements. She is an inspiration to children of all abilities, and embodies our core values of Teamwork, Respect, Integrity, and Commitment. Steel Partners and Steel Sports are proud to support Morgan in her Paralympic journey,” said Warren Lichtenstein, Executive Chairman of Steel Partners.
Morgan is also the world’s first-ever recipient of two Ewing amputations—an experimental technique hailed by doctors as the first major breakthrough in decades of amputation science. She made the decision to be a part of this research, which could allow amputees to more effectively control prosthetic limbs, as a teenager. Her ongoing involvement means the research will help others like her around the world.
Through Steel Sports, Steel Partners inspires young people like Morgan to reach their potential both on and off the field by developing them as athletes and individuals. Steel Partners created Steel Sports with the mission of supporting the next generation by instilling values, building character, and teaching life lessons through sports. With its “Kids First” approach, Steel Sports creates a positive youth sports experience for over 100,000 athletes each year. Inspired by baseball legend Tommy Lasorda, the Steel Sports coaching system employs ‘The Lasorda Way’, creating a positive and fun environment for athletes to ensure they stick with sports long term, gaining the character traits and life lessons that will make them successful in all walks of life.
As part of the new partnership, Morgan will speak to those children and their parents about her journey as an athlete and activist, and about how life lessons learned through sports like grit and perseverance helped her to overcome obstacles and succeed as a Paralympian. Morgan will also join the Steel Sports National Advisory Board with Julie Foudy, Nancy Leiberman, Dusty Baker, Bobby Valentine, Eric Karros, Ziarra King and more.
“Swimming has changed my life in so many positive ways,” said Morgan. “The pool is where I’m happiest, and where I can just be myself. I’m thrilled that this partnership with Steel Partners will allow me to help kids around the country find meaning in sports, too.”
“At Steel Sports, we provide meaningful and life changing experiences for children around the country,” said Martin Brown, President, Steel Sports. “That includes inspiring them to grow and make a positive impact in the world. We are thrilled to have Morgan joining us in that mission.”