Commission on the State of U.S. Olympics and Paralympics to Hold September 6 Public Hearing

WASHINGTON, DC – On Wednesday, September 6, 2023, the Commission on the State of U.S. Olympics and Paralympics (CSUSOP) will hold a public hearing on Capitol Hill on “The Future of Olympic and Paralympic Sports in America.” Commissioners will hear from witnesses from across the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic movement, which includes the more than 11 million Americans who participate in youth and grassroots sports at all levels. Witnesses scheduled to testify include U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee CEO Sarah Hirshland, U.S. Center for Safe Sport CEO Ju’Riese Colón, U.S. Anti-Doping Agency CEO Travis Tygart, Team USA Athletes’ Commission Executive Director Elizabeth Ramsey, The Army of Survivors President and Founder Grace French, and former Major League Baseball Players Association Executive Director Donald Fehr, among others. Also testifying will be experts on youth-sports-participation data and trends, representatives of athletes with disabilities, and athletes’ rights advocates. A full list of confirmed witnesses and hearing schedule is listed below.

WHEN: Wednesday, September 6, from 9:00am - 5:00pm (EDT)
WHERE: Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2123 (“The John Dingell Room”)
Washington, DC 20515

“This hearing is an opportunity for the Commission and for the public to hear from key leaders and stakeholders within the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic movement,” said Commission Co-Chairs Dionne Koller and Han Xiao. “The success of this movement does not only affect America’s high-performance Olympic and Paralympic competitors; it impacts the millions of people, including so many of our nation’s children, who participate or seek to participate in movement sports in communities across the country. America’s athletes at all levels deserve to engage in sports safely and access sports equitably, with the institutions that oversee these sports governed with transparency and accountability. That’s why Congress established our independent Commission, and it’s why our study has been so thorough, including holding this public hearing to solicit input and perspectives from across the movement. We hope all Americans will pay close attention to this hearing and to the report we will be releasing next year.”

Congress established this bipartisan, independent Commission, led by Co-Chairs Dionne Koller and Han Xiao, in 2020 to study recent reforms and make recommendations for policy changes in governance and oversight of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic movement. After funding delays, the Commission commenced its work in early 2023 and will complete its study at the end of September, with a final report to be delivered to Congress and the American people in the spring of 2024. The members of the Commission, selected on a bipartisan basis by the majorities and minorities on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Senate Commerce Committee are: Dionne Koller (Co-Chair), Benita Fitzgerald-Mosley, Nancy Hogshead-Makar, Jordyn Wieber, Robert Cohen, William Hybl, Brittany Reese, Han Xiao (Co-Chair), Patty Cisneros Prevo, Karin Korb, Edwin Moses, Rob Mullens, Joseph Schmitz, and Melissa Stockwell. More information about the Commission and its members can be found here.

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Full hearing schedule and list of confirmed witnesses:

9:00am - Opening Remarks & The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement: A Historical View Dr.

  • Victoria Jackson, Associate Professor of History, Arizona State University

9:35am - Governance & Accountability

  • Sarah Hirshland, CEO, U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee
  • Elizabeth Ramsey, Executive Director, Team USA Athletes’ Commission
  • Pat Kelleher, Executive Director, U.S.A. Hockey, & Chair, National Governing Bodies Council

10:50am - Protecting the Safety of Movement Participants

  • Ju’Riese Colón, CEO, U.S. Center for SafeSport
  • Grace French, Founder & President, The Army of Survivors
  • Scott Gray, Minnesota Hockey Safe Sport Coordinator
  • Marci Hamilton, Founder & CEO, ChildUSA

1:00pm - Athletes’ Rights, Equity, & Accessibility and Ensuring Fair Play

  • Donald Fehr, former Executive Director, National Hockey League Players’ Association and Major League Baseball Players Association
  • Ed Williams, Former Chair, U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee’s Athletes Advisory Council (now Team USA Athletes’ Commission)
  • Chuck Aoki, Community Access Navigator, University of Michigan’s Adaptive Sports & Fitness Program and Three-time U.S. Paralympian
  • Jeff Mansfield, President, U.S.A. Deaf Sports Federation
  • Candace Cable, Director of Community Outreach, Resources, & Education at the Disability Rights Legal Center and Eight-time U.S. Paralympian
  • Travis Tygart, CEO, U.S. Anti-Doping Agency

2:40pm - How to Build a Better Future for Sports in America

  • Dr. Vincent Minjares, Project Manager, Aspen Institute’s Sports & Society Program
  • Sally Nnanami, Co-Executive Director for the United States, PeacePlayers
  • Jeremy Goldberg, President, LeagueApps
  • Tom Farrey, Founder & Executivector, Aspen Institute’s Sports & Society Program
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