Peter Ueberroth was uncharacteristically understated when I gave him the chance to gloat in a phone conversation last week.
Ueberroth, the man who brought financial stability to the Olympics in 1984 (until recent host cities went wild) and enduring organizational stability to the U.S. Olympic Committee, simply refused to look back.
“I live in the present and future,” Ueberroth, 79, said from his farm in northern Idaho.
He could say, “I told you so,” now that one of his most criticized and roundly dismissed ideas (yes, I was among the critics) to promote the Olympics and Olympic athletes is about to be fully implemented in the United States.
The Saturday debut of NBC’s 24/7/365 “linear” Olympic Channel ("linear" is industry jargon for over-the-air and cable television) validates the actions Ueberroth took nearly a decade ago to create a similar network, no matter that the effort failed in part because of his headstrong approach to pushing it.
Once viewed as Ueberroth’s folly, guaranteed to suck money from USOC coffers, an Olympic Channel has become an integral part of Olympic marketing strategy.
I asked if he felt vindicated. He parried the question.Read More