SBD/Issue 34/Olympics

USOC Continues To Repair Its Relationship With Int'l Community

Probst, Blackmun Have Represented USOC
This Week At Olympic Meetings In Mexico

This week's Association of National Olympic Committees meetings in Mexico usher in a "new chapter in U.S. relations with the international Olympic world after years of isolation," according to Stephen Wilson of the AP. USOC Chair Larry Probst and CEO Scott Blackmun this week have "ramped up their international goodwill campaign in Acapulco, working overtime to rebuild ties with the IOC after bitter disputes over Olympic revenues and other issues." Probst said, "There has been a dramatic change. The whole relationship is just feeling much better than a year ago. That's good both for the U.S. and the Olympic movement." Wilson noted in the past, USOC leaders "might have been invisible, or even absent, from such an Olympic gathering." But now, they are "starting to make their presence felt." Probst was named to ANOC's executive council, and the USOC this week "signed an agreement with the Brazilian Olympic Committee on athlete exchanges and training." Probst: "We are committed to engage with the international community. We will show up at their events, whether it's sports competitions or meetings. We have been there and will continue to be there. This is a long-term commitment, not just something for a few months." IOC President Jacques Rogge "welcomed the change in climate" since the USOC last year failed in its bid for Chicago to host the '16 Olympics. Rogge said, "There is no issue about Chicago's elimination any more." Wilson noted still to be resolved is "perhaps the main issue that soured USOC-IOC relations -- the U.S. share of Olympic revenues." But the two sides "held informal talks in Acapulco ahead of the real negotiations." Probst: "What we talked about was initiating the process" (AP, 10/27).

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