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U.S. Speedskating shakeup ousts executive director, names interim boss

March 15, 2010 | 11:29 am

As reported here earlier Monday, U.S. Speedskating has fired executive director Bob Crowley and replaced him on at least an interim basis with Brad Olch, the former mayor of Park City, Utah.

The federation announced later Monday that Olch, a member of the Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Organizing Committee, had taken the job.

The move is part of a general shakeup in the federation that also included the dismissal of high performance director Guy Thibault and communications director Peri Kinder.

Crowley had been executive director for four years.

Olch, the Park City mayor from 1990 through 2002, lost a bid to regain that position last November by a 2-to-1 margin to incumbent Dana Williams.

Olch began work as U.S. Speedskating's boss Monday at the federation headquarters in Kearns, Utah.  Sources said that he has indicated he does not want the job on a permanent basis but that speedskating officials hope to change his mind.

U.S. speedskaters had a strong showing at last month's Olympics, with four medals in long track and a record six in short track.

The bankruptcy of a Dutch bank that was the federation's primary cash sponsor had left U.S. Speedskating with a $300,000 hole in the 2009-10 budget that Comedy Central host Stephen Colbert filled by asking for donations from his Colbert Nation, the fans of "The Colbert Report."

Colbert's high-profile involvement also gave the sport publicity it could not have bought at any price.

-- Philip Hersh