U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker announced the four names he would appoint to the Commission on the State of U.S. Olympics and Paralympics (the commission), in cooperation with Sen. Jerry Moran, last Wednesday.
Wicker, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, had previously announced he would appoint former Olympians John Dane and Brittney Reese, and last week finished his nominations by adding Denver Sports Founder Robert Cohen and U.S. Olympic Endowment Chairman William Hybl.
“John Dane and Brittney Reese’s dedication has led them both to the pinnacles of their respective sports,” said Wicker in the official press release.
“And Robert Cohen and William Hybl are long-time leaders in public service who will contribute great insight and knowledge to the work of the Commission. I am grateful for their willingness to serve and know they will bring a breadth of experience in promoting opportunity, inclusion, and safety for current and future athletes.”
The commission, which is made up of 16 members, is tasked with reviewing and assessing several aspects of the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC), listed below:
- A review of the most recent reforms undertaken by the USOPC;
- A description of proposed reforms to the structure of the USOPC;
- An assessment as to whether the board of directors of the USOPC includes diverse members, including athletes;
- An assessment of U.S. athlete participation levels in the Olympic and Paralympic Games;
- A description of the status of any USOPC licensing arrangement;
- An assessment as to whether the U.S. is achieving the goals for the Olympic and Paralympic Games set by the USOPC;
- An analysis of the participation in amateur athletics of women, disabled individuals, and minorities;
- A description of ongoing efforts by the USOPC to recruit the Olympic and Paralympic Games to the U.S.;
- An evaluation of the functions of the national governing bodies (NGBs) and an analysis of the responsiveness of the NGBs to athletes with respect to the duties of the NGBs under section 220524(a)(3) of title 36, United States Code; and
- An assessment of the finances and the financial organization of the USOPC.
12 of the 16 members have now been named, with only Sen. Maria Cantwell left to appoint the final four members. According to the Empowering Olympic, Paralympic and Amateur Athletes Act of 2020, the Commission’s report is due at the end of July, but an extension of this date and funding for a staff are being arranged.
The other two Senators who have appointed four to the commission are Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Greg Walden and Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr.
Walden appointed former Governor of Indiana and current Purdue University President Mitch Daniels, Paralympic triathlete and swimmer Melissa Stockwell, University of Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens and former Inspector General of the Department of Defense Joe Schmitz on Jan.12.
Pallone Jr., also made his announcement on Jan. 12, naming USOPC Athletes’ Advisory Council Chair Han Xiao, two-time Paralympian Karin Korb, three-time Paralympian and two-time gold medalist Patty Cisneros Prevo, and two-time Olympic gold medalist and member of the National Track and Field Hall of Fame Dr. Edwin Moses.