U.S. Olympians Association approves inclusion of Paralympians
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Today the Board of Directors for the U.S. Olympians Association passed an amendment to include Paralympians as part of its organizational membership.
The move not only expands the organization’s membership, but also brings with it a name change: U.S. Olympians and Paralympians Association, effective immediately.
“There are two events, the Olympic and Paralympic Games, but we are all one Team USA,” said Willie Banks, President, U.S. Olympians and Paralympians Association. “We are all athletes and we are proud the organization will include both Olympians and Paralympians.”
The integration will enable U.S. Olympians and U.S. Paralympians to work side by side on organizational initiatives that impact the larger movement and educate young athletes.
The change also calls for the inclusion of a Paralympic Vice President – in addition to the current six vice presidents. Although a date has not yet been set, the new vice president will be selected by a vote of all U.S. Paralympians.
“We talked about the added value of including Paralympians and how much greater the sum would be for all of us to be working together,” said Caryn Davies, Vice President, U.S. Olympians and Paralympians Association.
The mission of the U.S. Olympians and Paralympians Association is to create and implement programs that will integrate Olympians and Paralympians into every facet of the Olympic Movement. In support of the goals of the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC), U.S. Olympians and U.S. Paralympians strive to foster the spirit of Olympism in each community, to motivate and encourage youth and to develop camaraderie among those who have shared the unique experience of representing their nation at the Olympic and Paralympic Games.