U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Foundation holds star-studded 2017 Annual Meeting
by U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Foundation
USOPF Trustee Joanie Hall poses with her mother, Barbara Bradley Baekgaard, co-founder of popular luggage brand Vera Bradley.
With sights set on the upcoming PyeongChang 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in South Korea, the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Foundation held its 2017 Annual Meeting from Sept. 24 to 26 in Park City, Utah.
Around 40 board members and trustees attended the meeting, which was held in conjunction with the Team USA Media Summit, meant to showcase winter Olympians, Paralympians and hopefuls to media ahead of the Games.
“USOPF leadership had a productive and fun few days in Park City, all with the goal of supporting Team USA’s best and brightest ahead of PyeongChang,” said USOPF President Jon Denney. “I look forward to seeing the thoughtful and creative ways our directors and trustees champion our athletes and the USOPF in the coming months.”
The topics covered at the meeting ranged from committee sessions on athlete career and education (ACE) services and technology and innovation to details on Los Angeles’ successful bid for the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The Foundation also welcomed 10 new trustees via an introduction to the USOPF and the Olympic Movement, led by Denney and Gordy Crawford, chairman of the board.
“We’re so thrilled to welcome these trustees to the Olympic family,” Denney said. “They each bring a fresh perspective to the table, and I know they’ll do whatever they can to set Team USA up for success, both now and in the future.”
In addition to their meetings, attendees had the opportunity to interact with a handful of Team USA athletes at lunch and dinner receptions.
During the opening night’s dinner, guests heard from Paralympic snowboarder Brenna Huckaby, Olympic snowboardcross bronze medalist Alex Deibold, and 2017 world champion biathlete Lowell Bailey.
“We met Lowell, and I was saying to myself, ‘Wow, I am so excited for biathlon now,’” said Karl Zeile, one of the USOPF’s new trustees. “Before, I loved watching it, but now I feel like he’s a friend.”
At lunch the following day, alpine ski racer Steve Nyman, ski jumper Sarah Hendrickson and Olympic champion Nordic skier Billy Demong mingled with attendees. To close out the program, guests enjoyed a dinner reception with Alan Ashley, the USOC’s chief of sport performance, as well as curler Jamie Sinclair, biathlete Susan Dunklee and bobsledder Kehri Jones.
The event wrapped up with the official annual meeting, held from 9 a.m. to noon on Sept. 26. There, attendees discussed happenings in and around the Olympic Movement and the Foundation, which will enter its fifth year of operation in 2018.
“If these past four years are any indication, the USOPF has an incredibly bright future ahead, thanks in part to the leadership and support of our board and trustees,” Denney said. “Gordy and I are grateful to have them beside us as we work to strengthen Team USA and the Olympic Movement.”