The creation of the organization was spearheaded by former Olympic long jumper Dr. Phil Shinnick and included former Olympic, ex-professional and recreational athletes who were opposed to the boycott and "politicizing" of the Olympic games. These athletes were deeply concerned about the increasing tension between the United States and the Soviet Union, and were willing to take a stand.
While the cold war was at a peak and the nuclear arms race spiraling out of control, these athletes understood from experience that sport could trascend political ideology and serve as a way to promote a strong message of peace to people and nations around the globe. AUP's vision was that individual athletes, as de-facto international goodwill ambassadors, could carry out the message of peace and world disarmament.
Athletes United for Peace continues to serve communities around the world.