Message from USOPC Leadership
Every day, we strive to empower 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 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 began preparations to ensure the success of our Team USA delegations in 2021 and 2022.
We supported our athletes’ competitive excellence with more than $77 million in high performance grants and dedicated $6.5 million to sport science support of athletes and NGBs. To ensure that we can effectively serve Team USA athletes for years to come, we partnered with domestic sport organizations to expand access to sport and bolster our American sport pipelines.
But 2020 also underscored a crucial piece of athlete well-being: mental health. In a year in which health and safety were paramount worldwide, the USOPC doubled its efforts to institutionalize initiatives that improve athlete safety, normalize mental health, further awareness and prevention of all forms of abuse, elevate athlete voices and expression, expand earning potential, and empower sustained athlete well-being.
2020 was a year of unexpected growth in the face of unforeseen challenges. Together, we rose to the occasion to empower and protect athletes, support NGBs and HPMOs, prepare for unprecedented back-to-back Games and help leverage the power of sport to create meaningful change in our communities.
In 2020, the USOPC continued its important support of the U.S. Center for SafeSport on athlete safety matters with $11.5 million in funding, while also strengthening its own efforts to develop policy and prevention measures, and provide education to create an environment free from emotional, physical and sexual misconduct and abuse.
It was a year of unexpected growth in the face of hardship for more reasons than just COVID-19. As an organization, we listened, reflected and continued our journey of progress and change. We condemned systemic racism and inequality that disproportionately impacts Black Americans and people of color in the United States, bringing our global purpose of building a better, more inclusive world through sport to the forefront of our focus. We restructured our diversity, equity and inclusion business practice and launched new initiatives to help foster belonging within the organization and throughout the Movement. We established the Team USA Council on Racial and Social Justice and eliminated USOPC sanctions for peaceful and respectful demonstrations with a historic shift in policy, and put programs into place to build a more diverse, inclusive and conscious environment for athletes, staff and partners.
These partners are critical to achieving our mission, as our ability to empower Team USA athletes is only as strong as our relationships with NGBs, HPMOs, the International Olympic Committee, the International Paralympic Committee, International Federations, sponsors, donors and other members of the global Olympic and Paralympic movements.
Together, we rose to the occasion to empower and protect athletes, support NGBs and HPMOs, prepare for an unprecedented back-to-back Games and help leverage the power of sport to create meaningful change in our communities. We have come so far, but our work continues. Now, we return to sport with Team USA athletes better supported, prepared, and ready to compete and inspire.
Chief Executive Officer