by Susan L. Hornik
Hollywood has long been inspired by the sports industry and vice versa, but rarely do these two worlds have the chance to mix and mingle. Many of the world’s greatest athletes to celebrate at the Gold Meets Golden event during one of the year’s most Golden weekends and the lead up to the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The seventh anniversary event, on Saturday, January 4, also saw Hollywood wish good luck to the athletes of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, who will begin competing six months later. Gold Meets Golden benefitted Angel City Sports, a Los Angeles organization that fosters young athletes with disabilities with the resources, coaching and equipment they need to train as future adaptive Paralympic hopefuls. “Gold Meets Golden 2020” was presented by The Coca-Cola Company, the longest continuous corporate partner of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
A moving rendition of John Lennon’s “Imagine” was performed by Academy Award award-nominated Cynthia Erivo (Harriet, The Color Purple). A second special performance introduced by Coldplay’s Chris Martin featured The X-Factor’s Emmanuel Kelly, who honored the Paralympic community with his new song “Never Alone.” (Kelly’s brother is a record-holder Paralympic swimmer for Australia). Wheelchair Dance Troup The Rollettes joined Emmanuel with an inspiring choreographed routine.
Highlights of the 2020 event included a Coca-Cola Summer Tokyo-style Bodega featuring Sports & Hollywood memorabilia, cherry blossom trees, Good Luck Team USA Wall, and the new Dasani Purefill water dispenser which kept guests refreshed on a warmer than usual LA winter day. Premier auto dealership BMW Beverly Hills created a Winter-themed lounge showcasing a golden-dipped M8 series car, and teamed up with award-winning ROCKETMAN actor Taron Egerton and actress Sistine Stallone to present the BMW-sponsored Team USA Sochi 2014 Olympic Bobsled team with upgraded Silver medals, a recent result of the Russian team’s doping disqualification.
Actor and Olympics enthusiast Matt Bomer joined event founders Charley Cullen Walters and Scott Orlin on stage to surprise legend diver Greg Louganis with a gold medal cake and round of “Happy Birthday” for his 60th birthday.
Popular global shopping marketplace FASHWIRE championed a debut Fashion Show at the event, helping Hollywood celebrity, athlete and adaptive athlete attendees alike to look and feel their best throughout the Awards Weekend. Locks were styled by Paul Mitchell, and Skincare enhanced by Ghost Democracy, a leading new provider of clean products with transparent ingredients.
On the athletic front, TONAL Fitness showed off their strength-training system powered by electromagnetism resistance technology and machine learning. USTA and Tennis provider Babolat held a special tennis clinic at the Virginia Robinson courts, where attendees could face off with Paralympic tennis legend David Wagner and Angel City Sports para-athletes, and experience the sport of wheelchair tennis themselves. Attendees participated in a virtual live “Brunch of Champions” box moment provided by Wheaties, and several athlete attendees posed with the original commemorative cereal boxes.
Tequila Herradura, the world’s most GOLD-medal awarded Tequila, poured custom libations for guests including a signature Golden Guava Margarita with edible gold flakes, along with some custom lawn games to invoke the spirit of healthy competition. Le Grand Courtage handled wine and displayed an artistic golden bottle tower. Celebrating the new natural garden venue, a plethora of custom golden rose arrangements adorned various locations throughout the party, designed by renowned celebrity floral company J’Adore Les Fleurs (JLF).
A special display of Olympic torches and mascots from the past Los Angeles, Japan and France games greeted guests upon entry, provided by the LA84 Foundation. Food for the event was mastered by celebrity caterer Lucian Tudor from 1212 Restaurant, who have locations in both Santa Monica and Tokyo, and delighted guests with a healthy Japanese-themed menu of delectables.
Upon exit, lucky attendees of Gold Meets Golden 2020 left with a jam-packed Gold-Medal Rolling Gift Bag from the Mr. Morris Foundation valued at over $10,000. Items included a lush robe from Sanchaya Indonesian Resort and 5-night Resort Stay, Coca-Cola Commemorative Toyko 2020 smartphone wallet BMW Beverly Hills mini Golf Kit, Herradura Tequila Ultra Anejo Bottle with Commemorative Gold Meets Golden Medal, Ghost Democracy Full Clean Skincare Kit, TONAL Fitness $500 coupon and Blender bottle and J’Adore Les Fleurs Everlasting Golden Flower Arrangement.
Celebrities also received a UNIQLO Golden ultra-lightweight down jacket, CBDfx Hydrating CBD Mask and Muscle Balm, Rosetta Stone 24-MONTH access card for learning a new language (rosettastone.com), Paul Mitchell Sugar Cream, Sugar Day Cleanse and Sugar Spray Collection, Wheaties Commemorative USA Women’s Soccer Champions Box, UR+H CBD Fire and Ice roll-on and Peppermint lotion, Golden Door Full Luxury body skincare kit + Gift Card to a 5 night stay at their resort spa, Cann Deux Full Spectrum CBD serum Le Grand Courtage Brut Rose Wine bottle, beatsbydre Golden Edition Headphones, The Giving Keys Rose Gold Mini Key Pendant Necklace and Official Limited Merchandise for the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Guest contributor Susan L. Hornik’s work also appears in the Los Angeles Times, Shondaland.com, LA Weekly, MensHealth.com, AARP.org, Nexttribe.com, The Daily Meal, Boca Raton Observer and Discover Hollywood.