Over the weekend, Nike donated 35 pairs of shoes to newborns at Christiana Hospital in the name of Elena Delle Donne.
Elena Delle Donne, WNBA player and U.S. women’s national team member, was born at Christiana Hospital in Wilmington, Del. on Sept. 5, 1989. In an effort to celebrate the U.S. Women’s Basketball team’s Olympic gold, Nike donated a pair of Nike Waffle 1 baby shoes to each baby born at Christiana Care Health System’s Christiana Hospital on Saturday.
According to Matthew Hoffman, M.D., and the Marie E. Pinizzotto, M.D., Endowed Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Christiana Care, Nike reached out to Christiana Hospital before Delle Donne won the gold.
“They notified us that if Elena won the gold medal they would be donating the shoes to any babies born over the weekend,” Hoffman says.
According to Hoffman, the shoes, presented to the families in the hospital on Sunday, were packaged in a ‘lovely keepsake box.’ The message in the box read:
“It all starts now. 26 years ago, it started in Wilmington for a little champ just like you. And today, Elena Delle Donne conquered the world. Maybe, someday, that could be you. Or maybe you’ll choose to do something else. There really are no limits to your potential. Whatever you decide, get up. Get out. And get started. Life moves fast. And in these, it will move a little faster. Just do it. Unlimited future.”
Hoffman says he watched many of the parents try to figure out what the box was for, before they quickly recognized the reason.
“I think it’s just one more great way to recognize the potential the newborns have, no one has more potential than a baby,” Hoffman says.
Not only is Delle Donne an Olympic gold medalist, she is also an official spokesperson of Christiana Care Health System.
“She’s very much part of our community, a local hero, it’s truly one of those keepsakes,” Hoffman says.
According to Nike, a total of 540 baby shoes were delivered to nine Nike athlete hometowns including gold medalists Kevin Durant, Paul George, Kyrie Irving, Elena Delle Donne, Brittney Griner, Diana Turasi and Simone Biles. Galen Rupp took home bronze for the men’s marathon, but to honor the fellow University of Oregon graduate, baby shoes were delivered to Emanuel Hospital in Portland, the same hospital where his mom works.