Lisa Borders Speaks to Rotary of Atlanta West End on Safeguarding Olympic Athletes

Terri Phipps Copeland, Rotary of Atlanta West End's program leader for August, presented Ms. Lisa Borders, widely traveled actor in Atlanta politics, corporate America, professional sports, and most recently chair of the “Borders Commission.” The Borders Commission is the operational name for the United States Olympic and Paralympics Committee - aka USOPC. Lisa presented its just completed work -mainly the changes proposed to protect the well-being of American Olympians from sexual and other forms of abuse. Lisa said the 250 page report required nine months of work.

The report emphasizes several important findings. First, it instructs the USOPC to establish ways to put the welfare of the athletes as its #1 priority, including their physical and mental health and well-being … not even the Olympic Games themselves should take precedence. Second, it concludes that all participating nations need to increase funding to support their programs and protections of their athletes. Third, it concludes that all participating nations need to hire a ‘chief compliance officer’ to ensure that all athlete safeguards are being adhered to … that a ‘whistle blower officer’ has rigorous support. Fourth, the report finds that the USOPC must promote diversity throughout all aspects of the organization, including diversity of race, gender and of thought. Fifth, the USOPC should file a type of annual financial report to the U.S. Congress on all funds going in an out of its bank accounts books. And finally, impact reports are recommended to present proof of the results of adherence to the new requirements, allowing members of the Borders Commission to testify when requested by Congress.

Bi-partisan legislation is coming from Senator Jerry Moran-R of Kansas, and Senator Richard Blumenthal-D of Connecticut in support of the work of the Commission. Lisa stressed the broadening support for mental health as a priority and is receiving backing from NBA Commission Adam Silver, and from Chris Paul, famed NBA star from the Oklahoma City Thunder, representing players.

Posted by Neil Shorthouse
August 16, 2019 2:00pm