Mark Greenwald will step down soon as executive director of U.S. Speedskating, the federation said Thursday, as part of a vast overhaul that has reformed the structure and governance of the once-beleaguered organization less than a year before the 2014 Sochi Olympics in Russia.
Federation officials said in a statement that Greenwald will help search for his replacement after three years in his job. Spokeswoman Tamara Castellano said the federation hopes to hire a new director by the end of summer.
"We look forward to welcoming a new team member who will be a key player in not only fostering positive change within the organization, but also in upholding the tradition of excellence U.S. Speedskating was founded on," said Mike Plant, the new federation president. "We thank Mark for his leadership and commitment over the past three years, and look forward to his continued involvement with the sport."
Plant is the executive vice president of Major League Baseball’s Atlanta Braves and a former speedskater who has engineered sweeping reforms in recent months after being recruited for the president’s job by the U.S. Olympic Committee.
Until then, the federation based in Kearns had been beset by scandal, mismanagement and conflict amid skaters, coaches and officials.
Its prospects for the Sochi Olympics are worrisome, too.
Judging by recent international results, the federation appears to be at risk of its weakest Olympic performance since winning only two medals at the 1998 Nagano Games in Japan.
The federation said Greenwald — a two-time Olympian — will remain an "integral part" of U.S. Speedskating as a volunteer on several committees. He had been executive director since Bob Crowley resigned from that job after the federation fell just short of medal hopes at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics in Canada.
"It has been an honor to serve in this role for the past three years," Greenwald said. "It is my goal to ensure the sport’s legacy of tremendous athletic achievement continues, through the 2014 Winter Olympic Games and for many years to come."
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