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Diversity, Equity And Inclusion 2021

2021 Impact Report - Sport Advancement

Sport Advancement

Team USA is the most diverse group of athletes in the world. We recognize the importance of prioritizing diversity, equity and inclusion in our everyday thinking and actions, and strive to create an organization and experience that is as diverse as the country we represent.

The women's volleyball team hold up their gold medals at the medal ceremony at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
“The USOPC has the reach, reputation and brand to speak and guide on issues where others don’t have the same influence. It’s a blessing and an opportunity. People are looking to see what we do, and we are rising to the occasion to advance diversity, equity, inclusion and access across the Olympic and Paralympic movement.”

Nitra Rucker, USOPC Vice President, DE&I and Talent

In 2021, we created a new diversity, equity and inclusion strategy, shaped by a range of perspectives inside and outside of the Olympic and Paralympic community, to further our global purpose of building a better, more inclusive world through sport.

The strategy is upheld by USOPC leadership and the organization’s Diversity and Inclusion Council, which meets quarterly to review and propose changes to policies and procedures, as well as identify opportunities to help address diversity, equity, inclusion and access considerations.

Advance Awareness

Create a unified USOPC vision of diversity, equity, inclusion and access, and share that vision with stakeholders.

Support Athletes

Incorporate athlete expression, thought and participation into diversity, equity and inclusion practices.

Increase Intentionality

Review and assess USOPC policies, procedures and roles in the diversity, equity and inclusion space. Establish diversity, equity and inclusion goals, measurements and reporting processes to further develop our culture of accountability.

Mobilize Across the Movement

Cultivate strong relationships with USOPC stakeholders across the movement to share best practices and work together toward our diversity, equity and inclusion goals.

Women's wheelchair basketball team members celebrate during a match at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

When compared with 2020, the number of people of color in the USOPC workforce remained at 17%, while the number of persons with disability increased by 1.996 percentage points. The percentage of women in the organization remained about the same at 58%, as did the percentage of veterans, at 2.9%.

To advance inclusion in sport, we collaborated with the NGBs to collect their diversity, equity and inclusion data, which measure efforts to be more inclusive and representative of the U.S. population. In 2021, executive committees across NGBs increased diverse representation over 2020, across every category measured, including:

  • People of color by three percentage points
  • Women by eight percentage points
  • People with disabilities by four percentage points
  • Veterans by three percentage points

To further advance progress, NGBs established 2021-2024 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Action Plans. These plans help the USOPC and the NGBs identify opportunities within each sport to increase inclusivity and access at all levels. In addition, they provide a way to measure progress, share best practices and identify improvement opportunities across the Movement.

Jessica Long swims the breaststroke at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

In 2021, our Team USA Council on Racial and Social Justice continued its work to provide pathways for meaningful dialogue and change, advocate for action and make meaningful strides in racial and social justice as well as preventing acts of discrimination across the Olympic and Paralympic community. The Council’s more than 100 recommendations yielded 32 projects that have been integrated into our diversity, equity and inclusion strategy and decision-making, including a rule allowing athletes to peacefully demonstrate at events. The Athletes’ Advisory Council’s involvement was pivotal in ensuring athletes’ voices were heard. More information on the Council’s specific recommendations can be found here.

Breanna Clark celebrates while crossing the 400 meter finish line at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

In 2021, USA Basketball and USA Triathlon were co-honorees of our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Choice Award, presented to the NGB or High-Performance Management Organization with the most impactful diversity, equity and inclusion initiative, as voted on by their peers.

USA Basketball received the award for the second year in a row with its “It Begins in the Huddle – Cultivating a Circle of Trust” initiative to advance diversity, equity and inclusion internally through a speaker series, voter engagement campaign and monthly newsletters.

USA Triathlon's “Together, We Thrive” program focused on integrating diversity, equity, inclusion and access across their community through a summit to connect minority students with career opportunities, advocating against anti-transgender legislation and awarding scholarships to cover registration fees for applicants from underrepresented communities to attend the annual Endurance Exchange Conference.

Tamyra Mensah-Stock Wins Wrestling Gold

Young women are… going to look up there and go: ‘I can do that. I can see myself.'