this May 24, 2012, file photo, United States Olympic
Committee Secretary General Scott Blackmun discusses
with the media an agreement between the IOC and the
USOC at the SportAccord conference in Quebec City. The
U.S. Olympic Committee and the sports it oversees are
behind the curve when it comes to placing women and
minorities in key coaching and leadership positions,
according to a set of ``scorecards'' the federation
has compiled over the past three years.
SPRINGS, Colo. — The U.S. Olympic Committee and the sports
it oversees are behind the curve when it comes to placing
women and minorities in key coaching and leadership
positions, according to a set of "scorecards" the
federation has released that chart progress over the past
itself is 24 percent or more behind benchmarks it set for
hiring "people of color" on its roster of
professional staff, administrative support and executive and
senior-level management positions.
federations for swimming and gymnastics, two sports that
brought home 45 of the country's 121 medals from the Rio de
Janeiro Games, have similar shortfalls.
Swimming has no people of color on its board of directors
and falls nearly 78 percent short of the USOC-established
benchmark for hiring minorities on its professional staff.
USA Gymnastics has a similar shortfall on its staff for
minorities but far exceeds the benchmark goals in the number
of women at key positions in the organization.
Swimming executive director Chuck Wielgus said the
organization prides itself on being "welcoming and
come a long way," Wielgus said, "and we're our own
harshest critics when we recognize there is still more we
can achieve to make the experience even better for our
current members and those who are looking to join team
law , the USOC collects
diversity data every year. The numbers from 2013-15 have
been published on the USOC website due to a push by the
federation's CEO, Scott Blackmun, to confront the issue.
measure it, and shine a light on it, we will get
better," Blackmun said in his address to the U.S.
improving the numbers is a mission to undertake
"because it's effective, not just fair."
out the success Title
IX has had in bringing women to the fore of American
sports, especially at the Olympic level. Women
accounted for 61 of America's medals in Rio, which would
have placed them fourth on the overall medals table.
fixes Blackmun is calling for aren't all easy, nor are the
standards the USOC has set considered a consensus.
benchmark numbers the USOC set were based on its own math
— a combination of census figures, NCAA data and the
particulars of each sport. For instance, while USA
Gymnastics' numbers lag in administrative positions, the
sport's audience and participation has likely been broadened
because the past two Olympic all-around women's champions,
Simone Biles and Gabby Douglas, are African-Americans.
are areas where we can see USA Gymnastics as having a high
level of inclusiveness and diversity," said the
federation's president, Steve Penny. "And there are
areas we can focus on, such as the areas the USOC is
measuring, where we need to determine what steps we can take
to encourage more participation."
and Field is among the organizations with a makeup of
leaders that looks very much like its makeup of athletes.
USATF's CEO (Max Siegel) and president (Stephanie Hightower)
are African-American. Ten of its 15 board members are
"people of color" and it has exceeded the USOC
benchmarks in professional staff and coaches.
take pride in our diversity but do not take it for
granted," Siegel said. "We make it a