NOM BLOG

Top U.S. Olympic Liaison Resigns Over Controversy About SSM Views

 

Last week Olympic gold medal winner Peter Vidmare was chosen as chief of mission for the London Olympics in 2012, which the AP explains made him the liaison officer for the American team in its dealings with the International Olympic Committee and local organizers. Last Friday he chose to resign after it became public that he opposed SSM during Prop 8 (and still opposes it):

“I simply cannot have my presence become a detriment to the U.S. Olympic family,” Vidmar said in a statement released by the U.S. Olympic Committee. “I hope that by stepping aside, the athletes and their stories will rightly take center stage.”

... In a story on the Chicago Tribune’s website Thursday, openly gay figure skater and two-time Olympian Johnny Weir called Vidmar’s selection “disgraceful” because of Vidmar’s opposition to gay marriage.

...Vidmar told the Tribune his personal beliefs would have no bearing on his role as chief, and that he would “respect the rights of all our athletes, regardless of their race, their religion or their sexual orientation.”

“I believe Peter would have served our athletes well,” USOC CEO Scott Blackmun said Friday. “But given the nature of this issue, I certainly respect his decision to resign.”