The USOC BOD Thursday met by phone but did not have a chance to discuss the organization's plans for a future Olympic bid. USOC Chair Larry Probst said, "We are committed to scheduling a second meeting hopefully the early part of next week to get into that discussion." The organization's leadership was expected to seek board approval for the creation of a task force that would evaluate whether to bid for a future Winter or Summer Olympics. Probst said that discussion will take place next week since the board meeting was shortened because of wildfires that swept into Colorado Springs, where the organization is headquartered. During its meeting, the USOC BOD reviewed the organization's strategic plan and its mission statement. Its bylaws require it to look at the mission statement every four years, and the organization is considering some minor changes to it. However, USOC CEO Scott Blackmun said it would not pursue any changes until after it met with NGB leaders and athlete organizations. In addition, the board approved allocations for winter NGBs; discussed its plans for London; and evaluated its Safe Sport initiative, which is aimed at improving athlete safety and preventing physical and sexual misconduct in youth sport.
PAUSING FOR REAL LIFE: Approximately 40 of the USOC's 200 employees have been evacuated due to the continuing wildfires, but the organization's offices and Olympic training center have not been affected. Blackmun said the evacuations, so close to the London Games, may impact the organization's staffing plans. Blackmun: "My hope is that we have less than three people's whose homes are lost as a result of these fires. For those people who are evacuated and haven't lost their homes, a lot will depend on when they can get back in their homes. We hope we can get some stability in these fires in the next week or so. If we approach London and people aren't back in their homes yet, that's when we'll have to say, 'Who can we send to London in lieu of this person?'" Blackmun added that the fires will not affect members of Team USA because they are largely done training in Colorado Springs.