Peter Vidmar, the new head of the U.S. Olympic team criticized for his antigay activism, resigned abruptly Friday, USA Today reports.
There was an immediate storm of negative reaction after the Chicago Tribune reported this week that Vidmar had contributed to the campaign to pass Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot initiative that rescinded marriage rights for California same-sex couples. Those criticizing Vidmar's actions included Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir, who is gay, and former Women's Sports Foundation president Aimee Mullins.
Vidmar, a 1984 Olympic gold medalist in gymnastics, had said his support for Prop. 8 was motivated by his Mormon faith. Friday evening, in resigning his post as chief of mission for the Olympic team, he released the following statement:
"I have dedicated my life to the Olympic movement and the ideals of excellence, friendship and respect. 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. I hope that by stepping aside, the athletes and their stories will rightly take center stage."
Be sure to follow Advocate on your favorite social platform
DON'T MISS THE OUT100 SPECIAL 3 DAY MARATHON STARTING NOVEMBER 24TH!
Journey through the year’s influential Out100 – the most iconic and long-standing celebration of LGBTQ+ icons and allies – in a 1-hour television special spotlighting the LGBTQ+ people shaping the world today.