US Chef de Mission for London ’12 Resigns Days After Appointment

May 9, 2011

Double Olympic gold medallist gymnast Peter Vidmar has resigned from his position as US Chef de Mission for the London 2012 Games just days after his appointment due to controversy surrounding his public opposition of same sex marriage.

Vidmar, 49, is a devout Mormon and contributed US$2,000 to the 2008 campaign for a statewide proposition in California, defining marriage as between a man and women.

Having been appointed to the post on April 28, Vidmar said he was not interested in dealing with the distractions the controversy would have on the US team to London. 

He stated: “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.”

United States Olympic Committee (USOC) CEO Scott Blackmun said of Vidmar’s resignation: “Peter is respected the world-over for his dedication and commitment to the Olympic Movement and is rightly considered one of America’s great Olympic champions. I believe Peter would have served our athletes well, but given the nature of this issue, I certainly respect his decision to resign.”