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A Letter From CEO Sarah Hirshland On The 2020 USOPC Impact Report

by U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee

 

To the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Community,
As a governance and organizational best practice, and in service to our broad community of stakeholders, each year we honor our commitment to accountability and transparency by publishing documents that reflect on the prior year, present our audited financials and demonstrate the impact of our organization during that year to empower Team USA athletes and champion the power of sport.
For 2020, we are sharing our expanded Impact Report, which includes a new set of comprehensive auditing and reporting documents and clearly outlines the progress of our organization in fulfillment of our mission and strategic plan. As part of this report, we are also posting our consolidated financial statements and Form 990s for the USOPC and U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Foundation, as well as detailed statements of how we allocate financial support to member organizations in support of Team USA athletes.
Every day, we strive to build a better more inclusive world through sport by empowering Team USA athletes to achieve both competitive excellence and well-being. In 2020, that mission was tested as the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement joined the global community in facing unprecedented adversity during the COVID-19 pandemic, which placed athletes’ Olympic and Paralympic dreams on hold with the first postponement of an Olympic and Paralympic Games.
In the face of unforeseen challenges, the USOPC, together with athletes, National Governing Bodies, High Performance Management Organizations, partners, donors and the broader Olympic and Paralympic movements, prioritized the safety and security of its community, got creative, and responded with transparency, adaptability, grit and resolve. Through a fact-based approach that focused on the inevitable return to sport, we adapted plans to maintain consistency in athlete and member support, and ensure the long-term success of Team USA for years to come. 
In 2020, the USOPC served Team USA athletes by fostering their well-being and competitive excellence, promoting a culture of inclusiveness, safety and fairness free from misconduct and abuse, strengthening oversight and accountability of our full community, and engaging all partners to support Team USA athletes and further the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement.
Outlined below are a few highlights of our progress from last year, and I encourage you to review the Impact Report and take pride in the work we have achieved together.
Empowering Sustained Athlete Well-Being & Competitive Excellence

  • $77 million of high-performance grants to NGBs and HPMOs
  • $6.5 million in sport science support to elite athletes and coaches
  • Formed Mental Health Taskforce, engaged mental health officers and hired USOPC director of mental health services to create comprehensive Emergency Action Plan and develop long-term mental health strategy
  • Formed the Infectious Disease Advisory Group, comprised of public health, infectious disease and pulmonary experts, to inform COVID safety mitigation measures and protocols using a scientific, fact-based approach
  • Developed infectious disease management strategy to reduce transmission of COVID-19 at USOPC facilities and allow safe training to resume in lead-up to the Tokyo and Beijing Games
  • Developed “Considerations for Participation in National or International Camps or Competitions in the Context of COVID-19” to guide athletes, NGBs and other sport organizations in creating informed plans specific to their sport
  • Unveiled Team USA Athlete Marketing Platform (AMP) to connect athletes with sponsors for incremental marketing and earning opportunities

Advancing Sport and Building an Inclusive, Safe & Fair Culture

  • Increased aid to the Athletes’ Advisory Council by providing $525,000 and independent, operational support
  • Announced the addition of four athlete board members for total of nine (effective Jan. 1, 2021), increased elected athlete representation to meet the recommended threshold of 33% and required NGBs to have athlete councils
  • Provided $2.5 million to support NGBs and HPMOs across 55 sports
  • Launched NGB Hub as online community for best practices and updates
  • Strengthened NGB oversight, governance and accountability by launching NGB certification program and introducing 58 NGB Audit & Compliance Standards (beginning January 2021) to bolster operational performance, enhance equity and transparency, and further athlete protections – including promoting grievance, whistleblower and anti-retaliation policies and ensuring fulfillment of standards set by the U.S. Center for SafeSport and U.S. Anti-Doping Agency
  • Hired USOPC chief ethics & compliance officer to ensure effective and efficient policies for identifying and preventing deficiencies, and responding quickly and decisively when issues occur
  • Restructured diversity, equity and inclusion business practice and hired USOPC director of DE&I
  • Expanded Diversity Scorecards for USOPC, NGBs and HPMOs
  • 5% increase in NGB/HPMO female executives and senior-level officials
  • 11% increase in NGB/HPMO minority executives and senior-level officials
  • Established Team USA Council for Racial and Social Justice
  • Eliminated athlete sanctions for peaceful and respectful demonstrations on topics of racial and social justice
  • Provided $11.5 million to U.S. Center for SafeSport for investigation, response and resolution
  • Championed NCAA legislation to provide college athletes expanded access to USOPC/NGB resources and established Paralympic parity in Division I, II and III policies and exceptions
  • Constructed the USOPC College Sports Sustainability Think Tank to identify solutions to help sustain collegiate Olympic and Paralympic varsity programming with a focus on sport sustainability, structure and partnerships across youth, collegiate and elite sport

Engaging Partners to Support Athletes & Further our Movement

  •  Engaged 33 sponsors and dozens of licensees to drive $130 million, fueling the USOPC’s ability to serve Team USA athletes
  • Partnered with U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Foundation, AAC and NGBs to launch the COVID Athlete Assistance Fund, providing $1.42 million in supplemental stipends to more than 1,200 athletes
  • Partnered with the IOC, IPC and Toyota to establish the first Olympic & Paralympic Day in the U.S., to elevate the Paralympic Movement and promote the value and inclusivity of sport
  • Generated awareness of the Legal Aid program established by the independent Office of the Athlete Ombuds to offset legal costs and fees for elite athletes
  • Partnered with Aspen Institute, NGBs, USOPA and NCAA to establish a roadmap for continued growth in sport safety, funding, infrastructure and access for all

We have come so far, but our work continues. Now, as we look ahead to the Tokyo Games this summer and the Beijing Games next year, we return to sport with Team USA athletes better supported and prepared than ever before, and ready to compete and inspire.

Sincerely,
Sarah Hirshland
Chief Executive Officer

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