COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee today announced the hiring of Bahati VanPelt as its chief of athlete services. Reporting to CEO Sarah Hirshland, VanPelt will lead a division committed to advancing the support and resources available to Team USA athletes off the field of play.
Key areas of responsibility will include athlete safety, health and wellness, career and education programs, and outreach and engagement.
“With a role this important, it was critical that we found the right person – someone with the experience to collaborate and bring together all aspects of the athlete journey off the field and help ensure holistic success,” said Hirshland. “We are fortunate to have found that person in Bahati. With his impressive experience working to support athletes off the field, he will be a valuable addition to the USOPC team. I can’t wait for him to get started.”
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VanPelt brings two decades of experience in athlete development roles, joining the USOPC from The Trust powered by the NFL Players Association, an organization which provides benefits and resources to support former NFL players in their transition after football. As executive director, he grew the organization to better incorporate and elevate the voice of former NFL players; worked with several leading hospitals, clinics and practitioners nationally to develop resources and a standardized process that meets the needs of athletes; and developed and executed the implementation of transitional resources and services to serve more than 14,000 former NFL players. He also previously served as director of player development and youth football with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
"When this opportunity presented itself, I knew it was the perfect role that would match my background and passion for serving athletes while contributing to a great organization," said VanPelt. "Team USA athletes work endlessly to achieve excellence, and I look forward to supporting them in this process."
VanPelt earned a Bachelor of Arts from Flagler College in Saint Augustine, Florida, and a certification in athlete development from the Wharton School of Executive Education Program at the University of Pennsylvania.
VanPelt will relocate to Colorado Springs, Colorado, and begin his role Monday, Nov. 18.