COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Assembly – an annual meeting of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic family – will be held Sept. 25-26 at the Hilton Hotel in Chicago. The two-day event – themed “Power of Sport” – will be highlighted by an awards dinner featuring six-time Olympic gold medalist Amy Van Dyken-Rouen as the keynote speaker, and Tamron Hall, co-host of NBC’s TODAY show and MSNBC’s NewsNation, as host.
More than 400 participants are expected to attend, representing Olympic, Paralympic and Pan American National Governing Bodies; U.S. Olympians and Paralympians; Multi-Sport Organizations; the Athletes' Advisory Council; the Paralympic Advisory Committee; and USOC board members and staff.
“On behalf of the USOC, I would like to thank the city of Chicago for its hospitality, and the entire U.S. Olympic and Paralympic family for its participation at this important gathering,” said USOC CEO Scott Blackmun. “We look forward to connecting with our colleagues as we celebrate Team USA, review our progress over the past year and examine ways to enhance the growth and development of sport in the United States.”
In addition to a USOC board of directors meeting, programming includes USOC constituent council sessions, and a general address from USOC leadership. The event will conclude with the awards dinner on Friday night, featuring Hall and Van Dyken-Rouen.
NBC’s Hall previously served 10 years at Chicago’s WFLD-TV from 1997 to 2007.The award-winning journalist served as correspondent for The Inauguration of Barack Obama, which won an Emmy for Outstanding Live Coverage in 2010, and hosted the Emmy-nominated Education Nation: Teacher Town Hall in 2011.
Delivering the keynote address, Van Dyken-Rouen is one of the most decorated U.S. swimmers of all time. She became the first woman to win four gold medals at a single Olympic Games in 1996, and added two more medals in 2000 before retiring to pursue a career in broadcasting. The 2008 U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame inductee was recently involved in an ATV accident that severed her spinal cord in 2014. She continues to uphold the Olympic spirit and inspire others as she undergoes rehabilitation.
The dinner will also feature presentations of four annual USOC awards, including the Jack Kelly Fair Play Award presented by BP, the Olympic Torch Award and the Rings of Gold awards for both an individual and a program. The four award recipients will be announced prior to the assembly next week.
The assembly was initiated in 2005 to give a voice to the various member organizations of the USOC; to keep dialogue open between members, staff and volunteer leadership; and to help further the Olympic and Paralympic movements in the United States.