Press release -
Olympic champion Wayde van Niekerk becomes Discovery Vitality Ambassador
Johannesburg, South Africa – Discovery, the financial services organisation that rewards people for healthy living, today announced Wayde van Niekerk – world record holder and Olympic champion in the 400 metres – as a new Discovery Vitality Ambassador. Van Niekerk raced into the hearts of South Africans with his performance in the 400 metre men’s final at the Rio 2016 Olympics. Running blind from the start in lane eight, Van Niekerk broke the standing 17-year-old record held by American legend, Michael Johnson, with a new time of 43.03 seconds.
Discovery Founder and Chief Executive, Adrian Gore, said, “We are thrilled to welcome Wayde van Niekerk into the Discovery family. Wayde overcame incredible odds to become an Olympic gold medallist, and through his positive attitude, ambition and hard-working ethic, he is an inspiration to many.”
At the age of 24, Van Niekerk holds an impressive set of world and Olympic titles. A four-time South African champion in the 400m event, he also boasts the third-fastest time in history in the 300m, with only Johnson and Jamaican star, Usain Bolt, having run quicker than Van Niekerk’s SA best over the unofficial distance.
On becoming an ambassador, Wayde van Niekerk commented: “The health of South Africans, and especially our children, is very close to my heart. If I can make only one person more aware of the benefits of leading an active and healthy lifestyle, I would have made a big difference. I am very excited and honoured to work with Discovery Vitality around this important topic.”
Launched by Discovery in 1997, Vitality is the world’s largest scientific, incentive-based programme, positively impacting the lives of close to 7 million people globally. The health and wellness of communities are at the centre of everything Vitality does, and with mounting research and evidence on the danger and risk of chronic diseases related to lifestyle behaviour, helping people to find ways to be healthier has never been more important. Vitality has been, for the past 20 years, giving clients the tools and incentives to change their health for the better through its Vitality Shared-Value Insurance model. This model creates economic value that is shared among insurers and clients. It also creates value for society, reducing the risks related to chronic diseases of lifestyle by rewarding people for improving their lifestyle behaviour.
Van Niekerk will represent Discovery Vitality on a global scale, joining the elite group of Discovery Vitality Ambassadors, including: British track and field athlete, Jessica Ennis-Hill; current world No. 1 in women's singles tennis, Angelique Kerber; current captain of England in Test cricket, Joe Root; and English rugby union player, Maro Itoje. Teaming up with Chad le Clos in South Africa, Van Niekerk will, as a Discovery Vitality Ambassador, contribute to Discovery’s core purpose of making people healthier by motivating them to get active and lead healthier lives.
Gore concluded: “As we continue to expand the reach of our Shared-Value Insurance model into new, international markets, each of our Discovery Vitality Ambassadors play an important role as leaders across their communities, and in wider society. We believe strongly that people of all ages will resonate with Wayde and the positivity he represents.”
About Discovery Limited
Discovery Limited is a South African-founded financial services organisation that operates in the healthcare, life assurance, short-term insurance, savings and investment products and wellness markets. Founded in 1992, Discovery was guided by a clear core purpose – to make people healthier and to enhance and protect their lives. Underpinning this core purpose is the belief that through innovation, Discovery can be a powerful market disruptor.
The company, with headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa, has expanded its operations globally and currently serves over 5 million clients across South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States, China, Singapore and Australia. Discovery recently partnered with Generali, a leading insurer in Europe, and has partnered with John Hancock in the US. These new partnerships will bring Discovery’s shared-value business model to protection industries in Europe and the US.
Vitality, Discovery’s wellness programme, is the world’s largest scientific, incentive-based wellness solution for individuals and corporates. The global Vitality membership base now exceeds three million lives in five markets.
Discovery is an authorised financial services provider and trades under the code “DSY” on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange.
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