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United States Olympic Committee
United States Olympic Committee logo
United States Olympic Committee logo
National Olympic Committee
Country  United States
Code USA
Recognized 1894
Continental
Association
PASO
Headquarters Colorado Springs, Colorado
Website http://www.teamusa.org
U.S. Olympic Committee headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) is a non-profit organization that serves as the National Olympic Committee (NOC) for the United States and coordinates the relationship between the United States Anti-Doping Agency and the World Anti-Doping Agency and various international sports federations. Under the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act, the Committee is chartered under Title 36 of the United States Code. Despite this federal mandate it receives no continuous financial assistance from the U.S. government. As a non-profit organization it competes with other charities for private contributions.[1]

Contents

Mission

As a NOC, the Committee supports American athletes in general and Olympic athletes in specific and selects and enters athletes for participation in the Games of the Olympiad, Olympic Winter Games, and Pan American Games. Each individual Olympic Sport has a National Governing Body, supervised and funded by the USOC, which administers that sport and selects the athletes for the games. The Committee provides training centers, funds, and support staff to elite athletes.

The USOC also acts as the United States representative for all Olympic matters, including for the evaluation cities that are prospective nominees to host an iteration of the Olympic Games; the Committee ultimately submits a bid to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on behalf of a selected city.

History

Upon the 1894 founding of the IOC, the two constituent American members, James Edward Sullivan and William Milligan Sloane, formed a committee to organize the participation of American athletes in the Games of the I Olympiad to be contested two years later in Athens, Greece. The Committee operated under various names until it acquired its present name in 1961. It subsequently assumed responsibility for some training of American participants in the Paralympic Games.

Congress provided a special charter for the Committee as well as due process rights for athletes in the Amateur Sports Act of 1978. The act gave exclusive rights of usage of the words "Olympic" and "Olympiad" to the Olympic Committee.[2] The Committee used this act to sue other organizations which used this term "Olympics", such as the Gay Olympics.

On April 21-April 22, 1979, the USOC held a telethon called Olympa-Thon '79 on NBC, which was scheduled to broadcast the 1980 Summer Olympics. Among those who participated was the reunited duo of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, as well as O.J. Simpson and various Olympians. The event aired in both prime-time and late-night slots. The U.S. eventually boycotted the 1980 Summer Games in Moscow, U.S.S.R. over the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and, of course, NBC could not televise the competition. The USOC has not held such a prominent fundraising event since.[3]

In October 2007, the ARCO Training Center in Chula Vista, California (see below) was closed temporarily due to the Harris Fire, one of many that ravaged southern California.[4]

The U.S. Olympic Committee and Comcast are teaming up to create The U.S. Olympic Network, which is slated to launch next year.[5]

The battle over the U.S. Olympic Committee's plan with Comcast to launch a new cable channel has turned into a fight.[6]

Governance

The Committee is led by an ten-member board of directors composed of corporate executives, representatives from certain national sports federations, and former Olympic athletes. In October 2, 2008, Larry Probst was elected Chairman of the Board of Directors. He replaced Peter Ueberroth, the president of the committee that organized the Games of the XXIII Olympiad, contested in 1984 in Los Angeles, California.[7] In March 5, 2009, Stephanie Streeter was named Acting Chief Executive Officer.[8]

Criticism

There has been some financial conflict between the USOC and International Olympic Committee (IOC) with some pointing out the frequent leadership changes of USOC and USOC trying to broadcast the Olympics using its own television network, which the IOC discouraged. The USOC president Peter Ueberroth supposedly stonewalled a negotiation between IOC and USOC to discuss the revenue sharing of the US broadcasts with IOC. IOC also suspected that USOC was trying to keep all sponsorship and other revenues if the Olympics were hosted in the United States. Also there is suspicion by the IOC of USOC thinking that just having a better facilities and therefore a stronger technical bid is enough to convince the world that Olympics should be hosted in the United States without offering much while taking a hardline stance on other issues.[citation needed] The failure of the 2012 and 2016 US Olympic bids was partly blamed on the USOC. For instance, NBC television executive Dick Ebersol said after the failed 2016 bid, "This was the IOC membership saying to the USOC there will be no more domestic Olympics until you join the Olympic movement."[9][10][11][12]

Training facilities

The grounds of the training facilities in Colorado Springs.

The USOC operates Olympic Training Centers at which aspiring Olympians prepare for international competition:

Awards

The USOC administers a number of awards and honors for individuals and teams who have significant achievements in Olympic and Paralympic sports, or who have made contributions to the Olympic and Paralympic movement in the U.S.[13]

  • USOC Athlete of the Year - Awards are given annually to the top overall male athlete, female athlete, Paralympic athlete, and team, from among the USOC's member organizations.
  • USOC Coach of the Year - Awards are given annually to the top national, developmental, Paralympic, and volunteer coaches, and for achievement in sports science.
  • U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame - The Hall of Fame honors Olympic and Paralympic athletes, teams, coaches, and others who have demonstrated extraordinary service to the U.S. Olympic movement.
  • U.S. Olympic Spirit Award - This award is given biennially to athletes demonstrating spirit, courage, and achievement at the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

See also

References

External links

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