COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) Board of Directors met today in Colorado Springs, Colo., for its quarterly meeting and approved a budget of $16.5 million for winter National Governing Bodies. This brings the total funding from the USOC to winter NGBs over the fours years leading up to the Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games to $58.2 million. This signifies a substantial increase from the 2003-2006 winter quad ($37.5 million) to the 2007-2010 quad, up more than $20 million – or a 55.2 percent increase.
In addition, the 2009-2010 funding of $16.5 million approved today by the Board is a dramatic increase from the $11.1 million funding-level the winter NGBs received in 2005-2006, the year leading up to the previous Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
“The USOC is doing everything we can to support America’s athletes at the highest level in this final year leading up to the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games,” said USOC Acting Chief Executive Officer Stephanie Streeter. “Today’s economy has made it very difficult for our athletes and NGBs to maintain consistency and continuity of their programs. We believe this funding is essential in supporting our teams and helping our NGBs prepare their athletes over the next eight months and on the ground in Vancouver next winter.”
The USOC, like other organizations, has been impacted by the downturn in the economy and has had to make tough decisions about funding and programs, including making reductions in staff and budget. During this difficult time, the USOC has been able to sustain its core funding for athletes and coaches.
U.S. athletes demonstrated their competitive depth in 2009, showing that Team USA will have a talented group of athletes preparing to compete in Vancouver. Highlights include:
- 10 medals in Olympic disciplines at the Speed Skating World Championships, up from five medals won in 2005 (the year before the 2006 Olympic Winter Games)
- 10 medals in Olympic disciplines at skiing World Championship events, including first-time medals won in women’s cross-country sprint and gold medals by two different Nordic combined athletes
- Bobsled World Championships four-man gold medal, the first in 50 years
- Luge World Championships women’s gold medal, first loss by Germany in 99 straight World Cups, World Championships or Olympic Winter Games
- Figure Skating World Championships men’s gold medal, first since 1996
- Biathlon medal at the World Cup Olympic Test Event
- IPC Sledge Hockey World Championships gold medal, first ever Worlds gold for U.S. Paralympics Sled Hockey Team
- Four medals at the IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships
- Fourth place finish at IPC Wheelchair Curling World Championships
The $20 million increase in USOC funding to winter NGBs serves to capitalize on U.S. athletes’ success and remove any barriers that could impact proper preparation, including decreases in NGBs’ other areas of revenue.
High performance plans from summer NGBs are due to the USOC in August, after which the USOC will begin their resource allocation process. Funding to summer NGBs will be finalized this fall.