Sens. Moran, Wicker Announce Members of the Commission on the State of U.S. Olympics and Paralympics
Kansas Native Selected to Serve on the Commission
Jan 28 2021
WASHINGTON – This week, U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), chairman of the Commerce Subcommittee on Manufacturing, Trade, and Consumer Protection, and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, announced four members of the Commission on the State of U.S. Olympics and Paralympics. This commission was created following Sen. Moran’s Empowering Olympic, Paralympic, and Amateur Athletes Act being signed into law last year.
“I am grateful to these four individuals for their willingness to serve on the commission,” said Sen. Moran. “Their work will help ensure the good stewardship of the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee providing both current and future athletes a safe, competitive and equitable arena to pursue their dream of representing the United States at the Olympic Games. As former Olympians, John Dane and Brittney Reese, know first-hand the hard work required and challenges one must overcome to achieve this dream and they, along with Robert Cohen and William Hybl, will bring valuable experience and expertise to this commission.”
“John Dane and Brittney Reese’s dedication has led them both to the pinnacles of their respective sports,” said Sen. Wicker. “And Robert Cohen and William Hybl are long-time leaders in public service who will contribute great insight and knowledge to the work of the commission. I am grateful for their willingness to serve and know they will bring a breadth of experience in promoting opportunity, inclusion, and safety for current and future athletes.”
Robert Cohen, a native of Kansas, has served on more than 20 non-profit boards throughout his career and is currently serving on the United States Olympic Museum Board of Directors and the United States Olympic & Paralympic Foundation, as well as seven others.
John Dane, a Gulfport, Mississippi, native, is an American Olympic sailor who competed in the 2008 Beijing games together with his son-in-law, Austin Sperry.
Brittney Reese, also a Gulfport native, became the first American woman to win a gold medal in long jump since Jackie Joyner-Kersee, who won at the 1988 Seoul Games. Ms. Reese’s Olympic title followed an impressive career at the University of Mississippi and four world champion long jump titles.
William Hybl served as a member of the International Olympic Committee from 2000-2002. He is currently the chairman of the U.S. Olympic Endowment and President Emeritus of the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC). During his tenure on the USOPC, he led multiple United States Olympic Team Delegations, including the 1992 Olympic Winter Games in Albertville, France, and the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain.
Sens. Moran and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) introduced the Empowering Olympic, Paralympic, and Amateur Athletes Act in July of 2019 following an eighteen-month investigation into systemic abuse within the U.S. Olympic movement. The joint investigation was launched the day after Larry Nassar was sentenced to prison and included four subcommittee hearings, interviews with Olympic athletes and survivors and the review of over 70,000 pages of documents. President Trump signed this legislation into law last year.
This law requires the formation of a “Commission on the State of U.S. Olympics and Paralympics.” The commission is directed to conduct a study on recent reforms undertaken by the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) to improve the organization’s ability to fulfill its mission, among other things. The commission is required to submit a report to Congress 270 days after the date of enactment of the law and will conduct a review of recent USOPC reforms, assess participation and evaluate licensing arrangements.