Athlete Safety - Key Actions
The United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee is deeply focused on critical initiatives and collaboration across the entire U.S. Olympic and Paralympic community to protect, support and empower America’s athletes. The USOPC has made significant progress to strengthen protections for athletes, and the collective efforts to improve athlete safety must never cease.
Across the world, athletes are bravely sharing the egregious sexual abuse, harassment and discrimination they have faced for too long. This behavior has no place in the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic community, and now is the time for the USOPC to lead organizations, institutions and individuals alike in reigniting a culture of athlete empowerment and competitive excellence – one that is a safe, respectful and supportive environment.
The USOPC failed the athletes it was supposed to protect, and to the victims and survivors of abuse, we are profoundly sorry. While we cannot undo the trauma of these horrific experiences, we can promise you – and future generations of American athletes – better. We are actively committed to creating an athlete-centric culture, and safe and healthy environments that are free from all forms of abuse. With changes to governance and personnel, policies and procedures – and, most importantly, culture – the USOPC is a very different community today than it was even just a few months ago.
The USOPC has taken key actions to create and implement an overarching, multi-disciplinary Athlete Safety & Advocacy Action Plan to provide a safer environment for athletes and more effectively achieve its mission. Through the action plan, the USOPC is both examining the past, and taking immediate and forward-looking actions to create a safer and more empowering environment for athletes.
- Important Lessons Learned
The USOPC is at a critical point in its history. The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic community has an obligation to find out how the Nassar tragedy happened and how other instances of abuse occur. Together with our partner National Governing Bodies, the USOPC exists to serve athletes and we intend to deliver on their behalf. Critical to that accountability, the USOPC is responsible for ensuring proper oversight to help prevent and mitigate abuse of any kind in sport.
- Commitment to Change
While cooperating with and considering the findings of independent investigations and recommendations, the USOPC has already taken and will continue to take important actions.
- The Path Forward
Moving forward, the USOPC is reviewing the culture of elite sports in the United States to determine what safeguards must be strengthened and modernized to ensure the safety and well-being of the athletes it serves.
The Athlete Safety & Advocacy Action Plan consists of five central tenets, which each involve several initiatives aimed at addressing shortcomings:
- Improve athlete safety programs and effectiveness of U.S. Center for SafeSport
Improve the USOPC’s athlete safety policies and procedures, while also promot ing the capabilities and independence of the U.S. Center for SafeSport via additional funding and support, both within and outside the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic community.
- Athlete Advocacy
Empower Team USA athletes to shape key USOPC and NGB policies and programs, and improve education and communication to set American athletes up to be successful leaders in the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic movements.
- Evaluate and reform USOPC engagement with athletes and National Governing Bodies
Drive meaningful reform in how the USOPC interacts with and oversees its member NGBs and enhance engagement with the athletes it serves.
- Strengthen USOPC organization and effectiveness
Institute new leadership and stronger accountability measures, both internally and within NGBs, to further modernize organizational and governance structure while ensuring the USOPC delivers a safe and successful Olympic and Paralympic community – one that is balanced between holistic athlete well-being and competitive excellence.
- Support elite U.S. gymnasts and continued evaluation of USA Gymnastics
Create a stable, safe and supportive training environment for elite U.S gymnasts, while evaluating USA Gymnastics’ reforms and status as the recognized NGB in the United States.
Below is a list of key actions that outlines the USOPC's progress against these deliverables. You can also download this information as a PDF.