Is it possible that the long-dysfunctional USOC has finally turned the corner, and is ready to begin the long-painful process of reinventing itself?
Selecting Scott Blackmun as the organization’s new CEO is a giant step in that direction.
Clausewitz’s first principle of warfare: secure your base.
Thanks to the infamous USOC deal between the city of Colorado Springs, LandCo and the USOC, the organization is literally loathed in its home town. Thanks to the many missteps of the organization since Blackmun served as interim CEO a decade ago, the USOC is loathed by its national governing bodies, by many of its athletes, by present and former employees, and by the International Olympic Committee.
That’s why neither New York nor Chicago will host the summer Olympics, and that’s why Blackmun’s appointment is so welcome.
The difference between Scott Blackmun and his immediate predecessors is like the difference between Tonya Harding and Michelle Kwan, or Michael Vick and Peyton Manning. Blackmun has the smarts, the skill and the experience to transform a demoralized, directionless enterprise into what it ought to be-a model nonprofit, admired and emulated, both exemplifying and promoting the Olympic ideal.
Blackmun has been and will remain an engaged, visible member of the community–not a self-important, remote CEO. He’ll do what he has to do to repair the organization’s relationships with the city and its residents, by giving back to the community–not taking.
And since Blackmun has long worked closely with Bill Hybl and El Pomar, his appointment probably means that Hybl will once again enjoy an influential role in the organization – and that’s good news for our city.