COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – USA Rugby is thrilled to announce that it is now an Olympic Sport member of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC). The USOC Board made the decision today after a thorough review of USA Rugby’s operations and the organization overall. USA Rugby also presented and fielded questions at two public hearings.
USA Rugby had been an Affiliated Sport member of the USOC since 1998, but the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) vote last October to include rugby sevens in the 2016 Olympics made possible USA Rugby’s new membership status in the USOC. The USOC Board’s action today confirms USA Rugby as the official National Governing Body (NGB) of rugby in the United States. CEO Nigel Melville and USA Rugby Vice Chairman, Bob Latham, were in Colorado Springs this week to ensure USA Rugby’s approval.
“This is great news for USA Rugby. Since the announcement that rugby would return to the Olympic Games, we have developed a strong partnership with the USOC and look forward to making a positive contribution to the Olympic family in the future,” said Melville.
“The game of rugby is growing at an incredible rate as thousands of young Americans are picking up the ball and running with it for the first time and dreaming of Olympic glory in 2016 and 2020.” “Ever since USA Rugby became an Affiliated Sport member of the USOC in 1998, we have worked towards this day,” Latham said. “Our relationship with the USOC will be a great benefit to our membership, in ways both tangible and intangible. And we look forward to working with the USOC to prepare our teams for the Pan Am Games in 2011 and 2015, and the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016.”
The United States men’s sevens rugby team will participate in the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico in October of next year. Both the men’s and women’s teams will compete to qualify for the 2016 and 2020 Olympic Games.