Nikki Dryden

Attorney & Olympian, Independent

Nikki Dryden _Niels Astrup _Play The Game

Nikki is a human rights and immigration attorney who speaks and writes about the nexus of sport and human rights including gender inequality, athlete rights, corruption in international sports organizations and human rights abuses connected to mega-sporting events.

Nikki is an Olympic swimmer (Barcelona 1992 & Atlanta 1996), Olympic writer/journalist (Athens 2004 & Beijing 2008) and has been an activist for several Olympic campaigns (Beijing 2008 with Team Darfur, London 2012 with Human Rights Watch & Sochi 2014 with Human Rights Watch). She was also part of the team of Olympians who advocated for New York's unsuccessful 2012 Olympic bid.

Nikki is on the Editorial Board of LawInSport and is on the board of the Australian Ice Hockey League. She has been an Athlete Ambassador for several organizations that use sport to promote peace and development including Right to Play. For over a decade, Nikki volunteered with Right To Play including a self-funded trip to observe programming in Afghan refugee schools in Peshawar, Pakistan, facilitation of program set-up in Sri Lanka, and assistance with the US office with development, fundraising and recruitment of other athletes.

Nikki has a BA in International Relations from Brown University and a JD from Brooklyn Law School.

Nikki's OpEds have appeared in the Globe & Mail, The Daily Beast and Ottawa Embassy News and she has been interviewed about sport and human rights by HBO Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, CNN's Connect the World w/ Becky Anderson, as well as Fox Business News, a few of which can be found linked below:

Her scholarly work has appeared in LawInSport, the International Sports Law Journal, and the Sports Lawyers Journal. She has published work in several books including co-editing Meet The Real IOC: Look Who is Coming to London with Andrew Jennings, Playing it Forward: 50 Years of Women in Sport in Canada, International Sport Management, and Applying Sport Psychology.

Nikki was on the Programme Committee of Play the Game 2011 and has spoken about sport and human rights at Play the Game in 2005, 2009 and 2011 as well as the following conferences and events:

  • Web Summit, Using Technology to Fight Corruption and Doping in Sport, Lisbon, POR (Nov. '16)
  • Roundtable on Human Rights and Mega-Sporting Events, Commitments made by Commonwealth Games Federation, Sydney, AUS (Oct. '16)
  • Sporting Chance Forum on Mega-Sporting Events and Human Rights, Why IOC leadership and governance must change to protect and promote human rights, Washington, DC (Oct. '16)
  • New York City Bar Assn, Human Rights and International Sporting Events: Russian Anti-Gay Legislation, the Sochi Winter Olympics, and Next Steps, New York, USA (Feb. '14)
  • Ohio University, Sport Management Dept, Diversity and the Olympic Movement, (2012 & 2013)
  • Play the Game, Change Must Come to Global Sporting Events, Cologne, GER (Oct. '11)
  • Play the Game, Swimming in Money: How FINA Spends and Earns, Cologne, GER (Oct. '11)
  • International Sports Law and Business Conference, The IOC's Role in Promoting and Protecting Women's Human Rights in Sport, Istanbul, TUR (Sept. '10)
  • World Conference on Women in Sport, The role of the International Olympic Committee in promoting and protecting women's human rights. Sydney, AUS (May, '10)
  • Queens University Faculty of Law, Promoting and Protecting Human Rights Through the Olympic Movement, Kingston, CAN( Nov. '09)
  • Play the Game, Sport's Institutions: Corrupting the meaning of sport,  Coventry, ENG (June '09)
  • Play the Game, Ethical Principles vs. The Rules of Law: Doping and Athlete's Human Rights, Copenhagen, DEN, (Nov. '05)

Presentations at Play the Game conferences:

Sport's Institutions: Corrupting the meaning of sport - Play the Game 2009 (Pdf.)

Play the Game

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