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USOC May Reconsider Funding for USA Roller Sports

Funding Will Depend on Cooperation Between Roller Sports and Ice Skating

By Robert "Just the Factoids" Burnson

The U.S. Olympic Committee may reconsider its decision to cut funding for inline and roller skating after the Winter Olympics.

But the decision won't be based on the number of medals won by former inline skaters. Instead, it will depend on whether the governing bodies for inline skating and ice speed skating can agree on a joint plan to develop athletes for the Olympics.

That was the word today from Steve Roush, the chief of sport performance for the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC).

"We have taken note that the Olympic speed skating team has a lot of athletes from roller sports on its roster," he said.

But that doesn't entitle USA Roller Sports, the governing body for inline and roller skating, to receive USOC funding.

The USOC revised its funding strategy last year, Roush said. Under its new performance-based system, it will only finance non-Olympic sports with clearly defined programs for developing Olympic talent.

USA Roller Sports develops athletes in the disciplines of inline speed skating, artistic skating and roller hockey. But it lacks programs specifically designed to funnel skaters onto the ice.

The USOC recently informed USA Roller Sports that it would get no cash funding in 2006.

Last year, it got $100,000, which it used to send athletes to international competitions.

Roush said the USOC has advised USA Roller Sports and U.S. Speedskating, the governing body for ice speed skating, to work together on a development plan.

"At this point, it's on the shoulders of the two governing bodies," he said. "If they come up with a plan, then that's something we could take a look at, and that might have more validity in our funding philosophy."

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(Posted on Jan. 12, 2006)


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Related reading

Go to the Planet story: USOC Bites the Hand That Feeds It

Go to more news about inline skating and the Olympics


Copyright © 2005 by Robert Burnson

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