More than 900 representatives of sports organizations are expected to attend the '94 U.S. Olympic Congress opening in Nashville today. The Congress focuses on the Olympic movement and the needs of USOC member organizations. ACOG CEO Billy Payne is to give a progress report on preparations for '96. The 3-day convention includes workshops on sports marketing, sports commissions, sponsorships and sports facility and equipment partnerships.. About 120 exhibitors representing convention centers, sporting goods companies and other retail outlets also are present (Athelia Knight, WASHINGTON POST, 11/10). Yesterday, the Congress staged a "day-long give-and-take on organizing youth sports." It was intended to "encourage grass-roots activists to do more with less," because money is scarce for young athletes (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 11/10). Also on the agenda is a first look at proposals to revise the code of conduct athletes must follow to call themselves Olympians (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 11/10).
"Breaking into the boardrooms and policy-making committees of the U.S. Olympic movement is proving harder for women and minorities than winning medals." A USA TODAY survey shows "significantly less representation on boards of directors than on national teams." Women make up 42% of the athletes on teams from 39 sports federations in the Olympic program but just 26% of the board members. Ethnic minorities comprise 16% of the teams and "only" 10% of the boards. USOC President LeRoy Walker is appointing task forces to "develop solutions." As a whole, the U.S. Olympic movement's boardrooms are "nearly 40% less diverse than its playing fields." The USA TODAY survey shows the national governing boards for track, boxing, tae kwon do and judo are doing the best job of placing minorities on their boards (Mike Dodd, USA TODAY, 11/10).