Why one athlete ditched the U.S. Olympic team to make history for another country.

One of Jordin Andrade's earliest memories was watching his uncle Henry run in the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.

Henry also played in the NFL briefly, but for 4-year-old Jordin, the Olympics was much more exciting. Because even though he was born in the U.S., Uncle Henry was one of four athletes on the first ever Olympic team from Cape Verde, a small island nation 300 miles off the west coast of Africa with a population of about 500,000 people. (It's also known as the Republic of Cabo Verde.)

The Andrade family — including Jordin's father, Joe — immigrated to the United States from Cape Verde in 1960, just two years before Uncle Henry was born. "This is an opportunity to represent me, my family, my people and my country," Henry told the L.A. Times that year. "Cape Verde is so small and so poor. The place needs a lot of giving."


"That was a big inspiration to me as a kid," Jordin said in an interview with Idaho's KTVB7. "'Wow, my bloodline has some athletics.'"

Photo by Pascal Rondeau/Allsport/Getty Images.

It took Jordin Andrade until his junior year of high school to follow in his uncle's footsteps, but he did.

During high school, he became passionate about track and field and enlisted his Uncle Henry as a training coach. After graduation, Andrade ran for a junior college in his native California before being recruited by Boise State, where he went on to top national rankings. He even set a school-wide record in the 400-meter hurdles during his senior year and ran a 49.24 at his last NCAA Championships that same year — well below the Olympic qualifying time of 49.4.

Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images.

Qualifying for the Olympics was one thing. But Andrade still had another hurdle to face: Which country should he run for?

"It was between what everybody wanted me to do and what I wanted to do," he told South Coast Today. "Everyone I associate myself with is from the U.S. and they wanted me to represent."

At the time, Andrade had never even visited his ancestral home in Cape Verde. But his mind was made up after visiting New Bedford, Massachusetts — a small whaling town with a large Cape Verdean population. The trip gave him an opportunity to meet and connect with great-aunts and uncles and cousins he'd never met. Even the Cape Verdean Prime Minister José Maria Neves greeted him on one of his East Coast trips.

"When I first came out there, I wasn’t expecting much," Andrade told South Coast Today. "I ended up getting a big standing ovation and I met a lot of people with a lot of connections."

"I chose Cape Verde because that’s my family."

Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images.

Andrade set off for Rio in 2016 as a representative of Cape Verde, and in his very first race he ... was disqualified before he finished.

It didn't matter that he finished the race with a qualifying time of 49.35 seconds — the judges claimed that he intentionally knocked over a hurdle in the last 50 meters, which was an automatic disqualification.

As you can imagine, Andrade was upset. And so was the entire country he was representing. "My phone hasn't stopped ringing, everyone wanted an explanation that I couldn't explain," he told KTVB7. "I had to sit in my room watching the clock, and prep my body as if I was running the next day just in case."

Cape Verde officials immediately filed an appeal, and what followed was eight tense hours of waiting and deliberation.

Eventually, the judges agreed to overturn their decision and reinstated Andrade as the sixth-place finisher in the race, making him the first Cape Verdean athlete ever to advance to the Olympic semifinals.

That might seem like a small feat compared to a gold medal. But that monumental moment was enough to make Cape Verdeans across the globe burst with pride:

While Andrade may not have advanced past the semifinals, he still achieved an incredible feat — for himself, and for his entire heritage.

Sure, Andrade could have run for the United States. But instead, he became a champion who brought hope to an entire culture — one that too often goes ignored.

"I'm really happy to represent a small country," he said. "I want to give them a voice and make sure that whole world can hear them. I finally get the opportunity to."

Congrats to Jordin Andrade and the entire Cape Verdean diaspora!

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Shopping sustainably is increasingly important given the severity of the climate crisis, but sometimes it's hard to know where to turn. Thankfully, Amazon is making it a little easier to browse thousands of products that have one or more of 19 sustainability certifications that help preserve the natural world.

The online retailer recently announced Climate Pledge Friendly, a program to make it easier for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products. To determine the sustainability of a product, the program partnered with third-party certifications, including governmental agencies, nonprofits, and independent labs.

With a selection of items spanning grocery, household, fashion, beauty, and personal electronics, you'll be able to shop more sustainably not just for the holiday season, but throughout the year for your essentials, as well.

You can browse all of the Climate Pledge Friendly products here, labeled with an icon and which certification(s) they meet. To get you on your way to shopping more sustainably, we've rounded up eight of our favorite Climate Pledge Friendly-products that will make great gifts all year long.

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Jack Wolfskin Women's North York Coat

Give the gift of warmth and style with this coat, available in a variety of colors. Sustainability is built into all Jack Wolfskin products and each item comes with a code that lets you trace back to its origins and understand how it was made.

Bluesign: Bluesign products are responsibly manufactured by using safer chemicals and fewer resources, including less energy, in production.


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Amazon All-new Echo Dot (4th Gen)

For the tech-obsessed. This Alexa smart speaker, which comes in a sleek, compact design, lets you voice control your entertainment and your smart home as well as connect with others.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.


Amazon

Burt's Bees Family Jammies Matching Holiday Organic Cotton Pajamas

Get into the holiday spirit with these fun matching PJs for the whole family. Perfect for pictures that even Fido can get in on.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

Naturistick 5-Pack Lip Balm Gift Set

With 100% natural ingredients that are gentle on ultra-sensitive lips, this gift is a great gift for the whole family.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.


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Arus Women's GOTS Certified Organic Cotton Hooded Full Length Turkish Bathrobe

For those who love to lounge around, this full-length organic cotton bathrobe is the way to go. Available in five different colors, it has comfortable cuffed sleeves, a hood, pockets, and adjustable belt.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

L'Occitane Extra-Gentle Vegetable Based Soap

This luxe soap, made with moisturizing shea butter and scented with verbena, is perfect for the self-care obsessed.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.

Amazon

Goodthreads Men's Sweater-Knit Fleece Long-Sleeve Bomber

For the fashionable men in your life, this fashion-forward knit bomber is an excellent choice. The sweater material keeps it cozy and warm, while the bomber jacket-cut, zip front, and rib-trim neck make it look elevated.

Recycled Claim Standard 100: Products with this certification use materials made from at least 95% recycled content.

Amazon

All-new Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote

Make it even easier to access your favorite movies and shows this holiday season. The new Fire TV Stick lets you use your voice to search across apps. Plus it controls the power and volume on your TV, so you'll never need to leave the couch! Except for snacks.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.

Even as millions of Americans celebrated the inauguration of President Joe Biden this week, the nation also mourned the fact that, for the first time in modern history, the United States did not have a peaceful transition of power.

With the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, when pro-Trump insurrectionists attempted to stop the constitutional process of counting electoral votes and where terrorists threatened to kill lawmakers and the vice president for not keeping Trump in power, our long and proud tradition was broken. And although presidential power was ultimately transferred without incident on January 20, the presence of 20,000 National Guard troops around the Capitol reminded us of the threat that still lingers.

First Lady Jill Biden showed up today with cookies in hand for a group of National Guard troops at the Capitol to thank them for keeping her family safe. The homemade chocolate chip cookies were a small token of appreciation, but one that came from the heart of a mother whose son had served as well.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.