Mississippi Olympians named to commission by Sen. Wicker

United States Senator Roger Wicker (R) announced on Friday that former Olympic athletes John Dane, III and Brittney Reese will be the first two members of the Commission on the State of U.S. Olympics and Paralympics.

“John Dane and Brittney Reese’s dedication has led them both to the pinnacles of their respective sports,” Wicker, who serves as the chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, said. “I am grateful for their willingness to serve on the commission. I know they will bring a breadth of experience to the work of the commission to promote the opportunity, inclusion, and safety of current and future athletes.”

Dane, a native of Gulfport, is an American Olympic sailor in the Star class. Competing in the 2008 Beijing games, he and his son-in-law, Austin Sperry, finished 11th together.

Reese, also a Gulfport native, is one of the most decorated long jumpers in history. In total, she has seven world championships, as well as one gold medal, which she earned at the 2012 London games. Reese is also the indoor American record holder in the long jump with an incredible distance of 7.23 meters.

The Empowering Olympic, Paralympic, and Amateur Athletes Act of 2020, Public Law 116-189, requires the formation of a “Commission on the State of U.S. Olympics and Paralympics.” The commission is directed to conduct a study on recent reforms undertaken by the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) to improve the organization’s ability to fulfill its mission, among other things.

Additional commission members and co-chairs will be announced within the coming weeks.