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Usoc Seeks New Ceo

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USOC makes it official, names Blackmun as leader

CHICAGO (Reuters) -- The U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) on Wednesday named a former executive to lead an organization seen by many critics as arrogant and out of touch with the rest of the sports world.

Scott Blackmun, a 52-year-old Colorado lawyer who formerly served as general counsel and interim chief executive for the USOC, was named CEO as expected. He will take over on Jan. 26 from acting CEO Stephanie Streeter, who was not under consideration for the position.

Five days after Chicago's surprising elimination in the first round of voting in October to choose the host city for the 2016 Summer Games, the USOC launched a search for a new CEO.

Some critics also called for Probst to step down, but he has said he has no plans to leave.

Blackmun faces the daunting challenge of polishing the USOC's tarnished image and easing a strained relationship with the International Olympic Committee.

Critics have complained that the USOC's leadership was out of touch and unable to build key relationships and partnerships that have left the United States increasingly isolated on the international sports scene.


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Blackmun vows to restore US creditability with Olympic Movement

Blackmun said: "In my opinion [the Olympics] is the world's greatest brand and I don't think we have been good stewards of the brand."

"We need to make the effort to go over and visit with them [the IOC], to spend time with them, not only with the IOC but with the international federations, with the people who are otherwise influential in the world of sport.

"I don't think we have invested that kind of time at the senior leadership level to the extent we could have or should have.

"I think we have left that, most part, to our international relationship experts and at the end of the day the IOC is the leader of the worldwide Olympic Movement.

"We need to respect that and we need to spend sometime listening."

Blackmun, though, refused to attribute the reasons for Chicago's defeat at the IOC Session in Copenhagen last October to the USOC.

He said: "Personally, I think Rio was destined to win.

"They had a good bid and, I think importantly, the IOC supported strongly the idea of the Games going to South America.

"I don't lay the blame for what happened there at the feet of the USOC."

Blackmun is keeping an open mind on when the US should launch another bid for the Olympics, although several cities are already begin to prepare campaigns for the 2020 Summer Games and the 2022 Winter Games.

He said: "In terms of when it is appropriate for us to make a future bid that's a complex question.

"The answer is I guess, we don't want to make it too soon but everyone recognises the importance of having the Games on American soil.

"So, on a long-term basis, it is clearly a priority."


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