|Bellingham steps down this|
week as USOC COO
USOC COO Norm Bellingham resigned this week and plans to leave the organization Feb. 11. He spent four years with the organization and was a finalist for the CEO job Scott Blackmun filled a year ago. The USOC does not plan to immediately fill the vacant COO position. Bellingham said, "During my time, we took the organization up a notch or two. Through a series of efforts by a number of people, there was a big push to have a positive impact in the Olympic movement and we did move things forward. It's going to continue moving forward." Bellingham, an Olympic Gold Medalist in kayak during the '88 Seoul Games, was hired by former USOC Chair Peter Ueberroth in '06 to spearhead the organization's effort to launch an Olympic network. He led negotiations that resulted in an agreement with Comcast to launch a network, pending IOC approval. When the network was announced in '09 and the IOC questioned the project, the effort was abandoned. Critics such as NBC Sports Group Chair Dick Ebersol contended that the proposed network hurt Chicago's bid for the '16 Games by straining ties with the IOC. In addition to working on the network, Bellingham led the USOC's search for a new headquarters in Colorado Springs. He helped guide the organization through a difficult negotiation, several lawsuits and the recession before seeing it move into a state-of-the-art building downtown. Bellingham last fall took over management responsibility for the sports performance division at the USOC and led a strategic evaluation of USOC spending on Olympic Training Centers. Blackmun said in a statement, "For the last four-plus years, Norman has played an integral role in the leadership of the Olympic Movement in America and the operation of the USOC. Our organization is better positioned for success than at any time in recent memory thanks to Norman's dedication and effort." Bellingham has no immediate plans, but he said he anticipates returning to the media industry. He joined the USOC from TBS, where he served as Senior VP/Strategic Planning from '02-06.