The following letter was written by Jon Drummond to Scott Blackmon (Head of the U.S. Olympic Committee) about the USATF Olympic Staff being excluded from a visit to the White House celebrating the 2012 Olympians. (This is a reprint I copied from a Facebook group page)
“I hope all is well upon receipt of this correspondence. I am writing to express my disappointment of the current news about the visit to the White House. I recognize this may not mean anything in the large scope of things; however, one can only hope this will appeal to your conscience and heart.
The coaches and managers who make up the Olympic track an field staff, passionately love our sport. It is impossible to incapsulate with words that passion. They are a combination of past athletes, coaches and enthusiasts. Many have waited “in line” for years to be selected to this 2012 Olympic team. For what it’s worth, this was a “dream team” coaching staff. The 29 medals, World and American records speaks volume to that fact.
These men and women do not ask for much, but it is the simple things that makes their sacrifice all worth while. These coaches, manages and medical staff volunteer their time away from their jobs, family and summer vacations, to help track and field athletes fulfill their dreams. Dreams they may have made reality in their own lives, or have the opportunity to live vicariously though the athletes experiences. And they are proud to do so!
What is sad? The “new” USOC is totally disconnected and out of touch with the personal attachment our volunteers have with track and field. (The shoes on the podium situation is just one example of the disconnect.) It has been the most bittersweet experience at the Olympic games this year. Our staff worked diligently and tirelessly to make this Olympics the best in USA history and the best team the world has ever seen. In short, this staff was robbed of the few things that make it meaningful. It was not enough they were denied the opportunity to walk in the opening ceremony, but now being denied a trip to the White House to meet the first family and to share in the celebration, that is wrong by all account.
This may have no significance to you, but as a former athlete and a member of the 2012 Olympic track and field team staff, this is the highest insult to our team and its accomplishments.
Is this modern day serfdom? Are we considered unworthy? Do we not deserve to be recognized for our sacrifice and service?
It saddens me that we have been met with a constant flow of apologies, yet the simple things that makes it worth being apart of he Olympic team staff in the US has been ripped from the people who would give a limb for athletes. Personally, I no longer have any desire to be apart of the US Olympic movement. 29 medals are insignificant and so are the team staff that helped achieve them.
It is very doubtful that USATF will be able to convince a group such as this, in the years to come, to volunteer when the reward is nothing. You have set a standard that has left a horrible stain on USA Track and Field. I can assure you this has damaged the hearts and motivation of our coaches, managers, and medical staff”.
Athlete Advisory Committee,
USA Track and Field
2012 Olympic Games