Nine Team USA Athletes are urging the Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) to stop promoting dairy to the public and other Olympians.
Silver medalist Dotsie Bausch has written an open letter to USOPC. It argues the committee has ‘failed to take seriously the health concerns’ she raised last year.
The letter was printed as a ?full-page ad? today in three daily newspapers where Olympic facilities are located (including the USOPC’s Colorado Springs headquarters).
“In October 2020, a total of nine Team USA athletes, including me, sent you a letter regarding unhealthy cow’s milk’s prominent role in the Team USA culture and advertisements,” the letter reads.
“That letter included National Institutes of Health lactose intolerance and malabsorption statistics. Those statistics highlight that up to 95 percent of Blacks, American Indians, Asians, and Hispanics/Latinx are disproportionately affected by lactose intolerance. This puts them at high risk for suffering from painful and debilitating symptoms.
“That letter also included numerous scientific research studies about the deleterious effects of cow’s milk. Instead of considering the statistics and science that we presented, you quickly dismissed it as ‘opinion’. With all due respect, science is a fact, not an opinion.
The letter is signed by Bausch as well as eight other Olympic athletes:
- Alex Morgan, Soccer, Captain Team USA, Olympic Gold Medalist 2012, 2x World Cup Champion
- Heather Mitts Feeley, Soccer, 3 x Olympic Gold, 2004, 2008, 2012.
- Jennie Reed, Track Cycling, 2004, 2008, 2012 Olympic Games, Silver 2012 • Dustin Watten, Volleyball, Team USA, World Cup Champion .
- Michelle Akers, Soccer, Olympic Gold Medalist 1996, World Cup Champion, also known as one of the top female soccer players of all time.
- Tamara Jenkins Cheek, Canoe/Kayak, 2000, Former President of both the Southern CA Olympians and Paralympians.
- Rebecca Soni, Swimming, 2008, 2012 Olympic Games, 3 Gold & 3 Silver • Leslie Osborne, Soccer, Team USA, FIFA World Cup player.
The Olympic & Paralympic Comitte has ‘failed’
Moreover, Bausch said: “As an organization that promises in its bylaws to protect and promote its athletes’ wellbeing and champion the integrity of sport… The USOPC has failed yet again to do what’s right
She also added: “The promotion of unhealthy cow’s milk to Team USA athletes and to the public is unacceptable. And, is another example of the USOPC’s willful disregard for the wellbeing of those it’s entrusted to protect.”
Non-profit organization Switch4Good ‘applaud’ the campaign – and is also encouraging members of the public to ‘Stand With Team USA Athletes’.
“One of the USOPC’s greatest missions is to ‘protect and promote its athletes’ wellbeing’,” the organization wrote. “Time and time again, the USOPC has failed in that mission.
“For years, the USOPC has heavily promoted cow’s milk—a harmful substance that jeopardizes its athletes’ wellbeing.”
Switch4Good then added: “The organization commandeers its athletes’ inspiring stories and images to peddle cow’s milk to the public. [This] includes highly impressionable children who look up to Team USA athletes.”