Paralympian Melissa Stockwell named to Olympic panel
WASHINGTON (AP) — Paralympian Melissa Stockwell and University of Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens are among the picks for a Congressional committee tasked with studying possible reforms in America’s Olympic system.
Also chosen by Rep. Greg Walden, R-Oregon, who announced the picks Tuesday, were former Indiana governor Mitch Daniels and former Defense Department inspector general Joe Schmitz.
Walden’s picks make up one-fourth of the 16-person commission being created as part of the “Empowering Olympic, Paralympic, and Amateur Athletes Act” that was passed this year. It seeks reforms of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee.
Stockwell, a Paralympic triathlete and swimmer, was the first Iraq veteran chosen for those games in 2008. She is a recipient of the Bronze Star and Purple Heart.
One Democrat and one Republican in both houses of Congress are each allowed to appoint four members to the committee. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., has named two Olympians — John Dane, a member of the 2008 sailing team, and Brittney Reese, an Olympic champion long jumper in 2012.
The commission is required to submit a report next year that includes recommendations and suggested policy changes.
The law was written in response to multiple investigations about the failings of the USOPC and affiliated sports organizations in the wake of sex-abuse scandals.
Since the bill was introduced, the USOPC has been working separately on reforms to increase the number of athletes in policy-making roles and improve oversight of national governing bodies that run the individual sports.