Jul 30, 2019

Senate investigation finds U.S. Olympic Committee "knowingly concealed" Nassar abuse

Sens. Jerry Moran (left) and Richard Blumenthal. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images

An 18-month Senate investigation has found that the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee and USA Gymnastics "knowingly concealed" the sexual abuse of gymnasts by a team doctor, the New York Times reports.

Driving the news: As a result of the investigation, a bipartisan bill known as the Empowering Olympic and Amateur Athletes Act of 2019 will be introduced today by Sens. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.).

If passed, the bill would...

  • Create accountability. The USOPC and the national governing bodies of Olympics-related sports would be held to "more stringent legal accountability for failing to protect athletes."
  • Establish procedures. The USOPC would be required to provide more oversight of governing bodies, while also establishing clear procedures to report abuse.
  • Increase congressional oversight. The bill gives Congress authority to dissolve the board of the USOPC and decertify national governing bodies should they fail to protect athletes.
  • Fund nonprofit work. The USOPC currently pays $3.1 million per year to SafeSport, a nonprofit that investigates sexual misconduct in Olympic sports. This bill would require them to pay $20 million annually, instead.

The big picture: Blumenthal called the bill a "moment of reckoning" and believes it demonstrates Congress' willingness to create a "seismic cultural shift" in the protection of athletes from abuse, per NYT.

Go deeper: The overwhelming case against Larry Nassar

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Toyota reveals electric vehicle fleet for 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Toyota's "e-Palette" electric vehicle. Photo: Toyota

Toyota, which has a partnership with Tokyo's 2020 Summer Olympics, has announced the slate of electric vehicles that will be used to move fans, athletes and others around the games.

By the numbers: The auto giant said that it's providing 3,700 "mobility products and/or vehicles" for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. 90% will be electrified in some way, including roughly 850 fully battery-powered vehicles and 500 fuel-cell vehicles, the automaker said Friday. The "e-Palette" will "support transportation needs of staff and athletes, with a dozen or more running on a continuous loop within the Olympic and Paralympic Village."

Go deeper: Regulating the humans behind the wheels of autonomous vehicles

Editor's note: The headline in this story has been updated to reflect that Toyota plans to release an electric vehicle fleet for the 2020 Olympics, not an autonomous fleet.

Keep ReadingArrowAug 27, 2019

Simone Biles makes history with triple double to clinch 6th U.S. title

Simone Biles warms before the Women's Senior competition of the 2019 U.S. Gymnastics Championships at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri, Sunday. Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Olympic champion Simone Biles clinched her 6th all-round U.S. women's gymnastics title in Kansas City, Missouri, in style Sunday night — with a double backflip with 3 twists. 

Why it matters: The 4-time Olympic gold medalist is the first female athlete to land a triple double in competition on the floor — and she's the first woman in almost 70 years to win 6 U.S. titles, per USA Gymnastics. Biles is clearly in peak form ahead of the 2020 Summer Olympic Games.

Go deeperArrowAug 12, 2019

The youth sports exodus

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The average child today spends less than three years playing a sport and quits by age 11, according to a new survey of sports parents conducted by the Aspen Institute and Utah State University.

Why it matters: For parents who see the benefits of their kids playing sports and for a nation in the midst of a childhood obesity epidemic, keeping kids active is extremely important.

Go deeperArrowAug 6, 2019