WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and Jerry Moran, R-Kan., chairman of the Subcommittee on Manufacturing, Trade, and Consumer Protection, today announced four members of the Commission on the State of U.S. Olympics and Paralympics (the Commission). These members of the Commission are former Olympic athletes John Dane and Brittney Reese, Denver Sports Founder Robert Cohen, and U.S. Olympic Endowment Chairman William Hybl.
“John Dane and Brittney Reese’s dedication has led them both to the pinnacles of their respective sports,” said 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.”
“I am grateful to these four individuals for their willingness to serve on the Commission,” said Moran. “Their work will help ensure the good stewardship of the USOPC 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 and challenges required to achieve this dream and they, along with Robert Cohen and William Hybl, will bring valuable experience and expertise to this commission.”
Gulfport, Miss., native John Dane 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.
Robert Cohen, a native of Kansas, received bachelor’s degrees in Risk Management and Finance from the University of Texas at Austin. He 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.
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.
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. 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.