Dear Olympic and Paralympic Community –

I am writing today with an update on our progress against significant governance reform aimed at making our community stronger, our organizations and processes better, and our commitment to ensuring the health, wellness and perspective of Team USA athletes is reflected in all that we do.

Last week, our board adopted a second phase of sweeping governance reforms, building on the phase one updates passed in November 2019, and continuing the USOPC’s commitment to athlete representation, athlete safety and governance best practices.

The changes in the phase two updates – focused on increased athlete representation on committees, new NGB certification requirements and strengthened constituent group roles in governance – are the latest in a series of reforms reflecting community consensus recommendations based on reporting of organizational failings as detailed in two critically important Congressional investigations and from the independent Borders Commission report.

This action demonstrates not only a commitment to strong and transparent governance at the USOPC and NGB levels, but a continued elevation of the athlete voice in our organization.

My thanks, and the thanks of the board, go to the Governance Reform Working Group – which includes active and retired athletes, NGB representatives, and other leadership input from the Olympic and Paralympic community – for its tireless work and extremely thoughtful approach to this initiative.

Importantly, at the same time the board enacted the phase two reforms, it also approved the posting of the Governance Reform Working Group’s proposed phase three reforms for a 60-day public comment period on TeamUSA.org. The phase 3 updates reflect a continuation of our work, and include a focus on increasing athlete representation on NGB boards and committees, establishing a new USOPC committee to focus on NGB certification-related matters, and clarifying USOPC membership and NGB oversight as distinct from relationships with other U.S. sport organizations.

 

Please consider this your invitation to review and share these proposed phase three reforms broadly, as public input is an important part of this process. We will collect and review public feedback and be prepared to finalize this three-phase reform project when the board reconvenes this fall.

 

I thank you all for your commitment to this important, substantive action, and – as always – I look forward to your perspective and feedback as we work together to make changes that benefit athletes and ensure a better future for the Olympic and Paralympic movements in the United States. 

Thank you,
Sarah