U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, today announced that former Olympic athletes John Dane and Brittney Reese will be the first two members of the Commission on the State of U.S. Olympics and Paralympics (the Commission). Wicker will announce two other appointments to the Commission in the coming days.
“John Dane and Brittney Reese’s dedication has led them both to the pinnacles of their respective sports,” said Wicker. “I am grateful for their willingness to serve on the Commission. I know they will bring a breadth of experience to the work of the Commission to promote the opportunity, inclusion, and safety of current and future athletes.”
Gulfport, Miss., native John Dane is an American Olympic sailor and 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. The Olympic title followed an impressive career at the University of Mississippi and four world champion long jump titles.
The Empowering Olympic, Paralympic, and Amateur Athletes Act of 2020, Public Law 116-189, 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 legislation stipulated that the Chairman of the Commerce Committee would be responsible for appointing four members to the 16-member Commission. Wicker will also be choosing one of the two co-chairs. The Commission is required to submit a report to Congress 270 days after the date of enactment of the Act. The Commission will conduct a review of recent USOPC reforms, assess participation, and evaluate licensing arrangements.