Peter Vidmar has resigned as chef de mission of the 2012 U.S. Olympics Team after some athletes criticized his role in supporting California’s Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot initiative that eliminated the right of same-sex couples to marry in the state.
Vidmar, who is LDS, told the Chicago Tribune he participated in the anti-gay-marriage campaign because the LDS Church invited it’s members to take a stand. Vidmar donated $2,000 toward the effort and participated in two demonstrations.
Johnny Weir, an Olympic figure skater who is gay, said it was "disgraceful" to have someone with Vidmar’s views as the symbolic head of an Olympic team.
Softball player Jessica Mendoza, an Olympic champion, also expressed disappointment with the the choice, saying she knows many gay athletes who will compete at the London Summer Games next year.
"The Olympics is to be inclusive of everyone, regardless of race, gender or sexuality," she told the Chicago Tribune.
Vidmar had insisted his views on marriage would not interfere with his ability to support every member of the U.S. team. But he resigned on Friday, eight days after being picked for the job.
"I wish that my personal religious beliefs would not have become a distraction from the amazing things that are happening in the Olympic movement in the United States. I simply cannot have my presence become a detriment to the U.S. Olympic family," Vidmar said in a statement. "I hope that by stepping aside, the athletes and their stories will rightly take center stage.’’
|1.||Chefs share tips for home cooks to waste not, want not|
|2.||Bagley Cartoon: Comic Con Controversy|
|3.||Restaurant review: Flavor and style — for a Park City price — at Burgers and Bourbon|
|4.||Annual liquor sales in Utah up $20 million|
|5.||Owner of dog shot by Utah police turns down $10,000 offer|
|6.||Salt City Vodka now available in Utah liquor stores|
|7.||Ordain Women, abuse, defections on tap for Mormon symposium|
|8.||BYU Football: Ranking the top-10 players of all-time|
|9.||Salt Lake, San Diego comic con name feud would set precedent|