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Peter Vidmar to step down as London 2012 Chef de Mission

May 06, 2011, 6:17 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Citing his commitment to Team USA and America's Olympic athletes, and his belief that any distraction for the athletes would be a disservice to the team, Peter Vidmar has resigned his role as Chef de Mission of Team USA for the Games of the XXX Olympiad.

"I have dedicated my life to the Olympic Movement and the ideals of excellence, friendship and respect," said Vidmar. "I wish that my personal religious beliefs would not have become a distraction from the amazing things that are happening in the Olympic Movement in the United States. I simply cannot have my presence become a detriment to the U.S. Olympic family. I hope that by stepping aside, the athletes and their stories will rightly take center stage."

"Peter is respected the world-over for his dedication and commitment to the Olympic Movement and is rightly considered one of America's great Olympic champions. I believe Peter would have served our athletes well, but given the nature of this issue, I certainly respect his decision to resign," said USOC CEO Scott Blackmun. "As we look toward London 2012 and the selection of Peter's replacement, we'll do so with the sole intent of showcasing America's best and brightest stars and the inspirational story that each member of our Olympic team has to share."

For more information, please contact the USOC Communications Division at (719) 866-4529 or visit www.teamusa.org. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook .