COLORADO SPRINGS, Oct. 25. In a surprise announcement this morning, Norm Blake, the CEO of the US Olympic Committee, announced that he is stepping down after less than a year in his position.
The following is Blake's statement at a press conference this morning:
"After extensive discussions with my family and intense personal reflection, it is my intention to leave the USOC at such time that a suitable successor has been appointed, an appropriate transition period has transpired, and proper support is given to the senior leadership team which I have assembled.
"Although the transition period has yet to be determined, it will not extend beyond the completion of the Salt Lake City Olympic Games.
"I have reached this decision because of my belief that the transformation contemplated in the strategic plan, which I developed and which was approved by the USOC Executive Committee, cannot be successfully executed due to the absence of sufficient organizational resolve and commitment. "This has become evident during the election process of selecting volunteer leadership for the next quadrennial period.
"I accepted the appointment as CEO of the USOC to serve my country in the service of supporting our athletes, who represent our country with pride and distinction in the Olympic Games. It became apparent to me, even before the most recent Sydney Olympic Games, that there did not exist sufficient organizational commitment to further implement the change process.
"It is with the deepest regret that I express my intention to leave. In the meantime, I wish to assure the American public of my commitment to expend my utmost efforts in support of the U.S. Olympic Movement and our athletes during this transition period. I remain confident in the dedication of our professional staff to continue its outstanding service in support of our athletes."