This month, sports eyes turn to the Olympics to see some of the world's greatest athletes compete for medals and country. As you settle into your couch to take in the pageantry and competition in Beijing, don't forget the impact that nonprofit groups have had in creating America's awe-inspiring performers - and in building communities.You may not see a nonprofit logo on an Olympian's cap or the back of a superstar's jersey, but nonprofiteers are behind every great sport in the U.S. No athlete has reached the pinnacle of his or her sport outside the complex eco-system of volunteer, amateur, and community nonprofit sports.
Amateur sports embody "the best of nonprofit spirit: people getting together about something people care about," observes sports anthropologist Orin Starn of Duke University.
Sports nonprofits of all sizes touch millions of Americans by organizing . . .