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Athlete Advisory Council Accomplishments of the AAC Thus Far


The United States Olym-

pic Committee’s Athletes’ Advisory Council represen- tatives recently received a letter from our chair, Sarah Konrad, reminding us that our four-year terms were al- ready nearly half over and highlighting many of the AAC’s accomplishments to date. As USA Shooting’s AAC representative, I’d like to share some of these ac- complishments with our membership as follows: *The successful hiring of

USOC athlete ombudsman, Kacie Wallace. The om- budsman’s role is to provide independent, no-cost advice to athletes about their rights and responsibilities. Kacie succeeds John Ruger as only the second person to fi ll this critical role for the ath- letes. John retired in 2014 after serving as the ombuds- man for 15 years. *The redesign of the

AAC’s website (pictured right). The website is now host-

ed on the Team USA plat- form and can be accessed at For-Athletes/Athletes-Advi- sory-Council. The website provides links to information on many topics important to athletes, including informa- tion on athlete rights, anti- doping, career planning, ath- lete support, and Safe Sport. *The return of the Post- Olympic and Paralympic

10 USA Shooting News | March 2015

Summit, which was de- signed to assist athletes de- velop tools and perspectives to use upon their retirement from sport. *The creation of an inde-

pendent entity, similar to the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), to oversee certain Safe Sport viola- tions.

*The development of

a “best practices” docu- ment for board members of National Governing Bod- ies (“NGBs”), such as USA Shooting. I participated in the task

force which collaborated with the NGB Council to develop these guidelines, which have been approved by both the NGB Council and the AAC. The goal of the best practices document is to im- prove the professionalism and success of the various NGB Boards of Directors.

*The nomination of ath-

lete candidates to sit on the boards of directors of the USOC and USADA. *The approval of a for-

mal process to conduct fl ag bearer elections at the Olym- pic, Paralympic, Pan Am, and Para Pan Am Games. *The initiation of a Para-

lympic Liaison program, in which almost every Para- lympic sport has a liaison that participates in quarterly calls with the AAC Paralympi- ans.

The goal of the Paralym-

pic Liaison program and oth- er efforts to be more inclu- sive of Paralympic concerns and interests is to ensure that Paralympians have the same level of representation as Olympians within their NGBs and the USOC as a whole. To this end, several NGBs have welcomed Para- lympians into governance

positions on their boards of directors. Over the fi nal two years

of this quadrennial, the AAC will continue its efforts to improve communication, athlete services, benefi cial partnerships and Paralym- pic inclusion. For additional information on these four initiatives and the AAC’s other activities, please refer to the AAC’s website. And as always, your athlete repre- sentatives are here to serve you and provide representa- tion both to the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Shoot- ing. If you have any ques- tions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me or any of the discipline athlete representatives.

Mary Weeks (AAC)

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