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Scott Blackmun tapped to be next U.S. Olympic Committee chief executive

January 5, 2010 | 11:25 am

Scott Blackmun will be the new chief executive of the U.S. Olympic Committee, the Chicago Tribune learned today, with the USOC board choosing him over Chuck Wielgus, the chief executive of USA Swimming.

Fabforum "I think it's a good decision,'' said USOC board member Anita DeFrantz. "I am happy he [Blackmun] is taking over the reins.''

USOC Chairman Larry Probst is to introduce Blackmun, 52, to the staff Wednesday in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Many of the staff already know him. Blackmun, an attorney, served the USOC in a variety of positions from 1999 through 2002. He was acting CEO from November 2000 through October 2001.

Blackmun, a partner in the Colorado Springs law firm of Holme, Roberts & Owens, is expected to start as USOC boss later this month.

He replaces Stephanie Streeter, who became acting CEO when the board ousted Jim Scherr last March. Streeter, of Neenah, Wis., declined to be a candidate for the full-time job, USOC spokesman Patrick Sandusky said.

The Tribune reported earlier that the USOC search committee interviewed six finalists for the job in mid-December and decided last week to present Blackmun and Wielgus to the board of directors.

"[Blackmun] is certainly a savvy veteran of the Olympic movement, and I think he is going to be very well received,'' USA Track & Field chief executive Doug Logan said. "He has a proven track record at soothing roiled waters, and that skill set will come in handy in years to come.''

Blackmun became acting CEO during one of the USOC's frequent periods of turmoil, when CEO Norm Blake was forced to resign. There have been 13 changes in the CEO position in the last 14 years, with Blackmun among nine people to have served as acting or permanent boss.

Blackmun, a summa cum laude graduate of Dartmouth who got his law degree from Stanford, left the USOC after he was not chosen as the permanent CEO in 2001.

He went on to spend four years as chief operating officer of sports and entertainment giant AEG, for whom his tasks included the company's sponsorship of the Tour of California bicycle race.  He then returned to the Colorado Springs law firm where he had started his legal career in 1982.

-- Phillip Hersh

Photo: Scott Blackmun. Credit: AP.