Peter Vidmar has resigned as chairman of USA Gymnastics' Board of Directors ©USA Gymnastics

Peter Vidmar, the double Olympic gymnastics champion, has resigned as chairman of USA Gymnastics' Board of Directors.

Vidmar and his wife, Donna, have accepted a three-year appointment to oversee mission efforts for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, where they will serve with young men and women from July 2016 in a soon to be determined geographic area.

Paul Parilla, vice-chairman of the Board since 2009, will step up to the role of chairman until the completion of Vidmar’s term in December 2016.

"I love gymnastics, and it has shaped my life for the better," said 54-year-old Vidmar, winner of Olympic gold medals in the men’s pommel horse and men’s team competition at Los Angeles 1984.

"Through gymnastics I have learned discipline, hard work, trust, integrity, teamwork, and faith.

"Most important, I met my wife through gymnastics.

"I cherish the many friendships and the collective memories of trying to do good for our sport.

"Upon my return, I look forward to again doing what I can to assist USA Gymnastics moving forward."

Vidmar was elected as Board chairman in December 2008 and re-elected for a second term in 2012 after being voted onto the International Gymnastics Federation Executive Committee.

"On behalf of USA Gymnastics, I want to thank Peter for all he has done for USA Gymnastics, not only as Board chairman, but also as an athlete, advocate and role model," said Steve Penny, President of USA Gymnastics.

"Under Peter’s leadership, the organisation has moved forward in best practices in many areas, including governance and safe sport, and the USA has become a recognised leader in the international community.

"We appreciate Paul’s willingness to complete Peter’s term, and we expect a seamless transition."

Peter Vidmar won gold in the men's pommel horse at the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games
Peter Vidmar won gold in the men's pommel horse at the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games ©Getty Images

Parilla became chairman in accordance with USA Gymnastics’ by-laws, which call for the vice-chairman to assume the chairmanship if the need arises.

He has served as Board vice-chairman since 2009, and headed up the committee that oversaw the transition to the existing USA Gymnastics Board and governance structure in 2008.

The retired Marine Corps colonel and military judge, who has had a law practice in southern California since the late 1970s, has dedicated service to both USA Gymnastics and the sports of trampoline and tumbling since 1999, and his daughter, Jennifer, is a two-time Olympic trampolinist.  

"Paul has been a part of this organisation’s leadership for more than 16 years, not only as a member of the Board but also as the chair for several key committees," said Penny.

"He brings a wealth of institutional knowledge to this position."

In May 2011, Vidmar resigned as Chef de Mission of the United States' team for the London 2012 Olympics only a week after being appointed following a series of damaging allegations over his opposition to same-sex marriage.

Vidmar's decision to step down followed reports in the Chicago Tribune that he participated in two anti-gay marriage demonstrations and donated $2,000 (£1,300/€1,800) for the successful 2008 Proposition 8 ballot initiative in California, defining marriage as between a man and a woman. 

The proposition overturned a California Supreme Court ruling that permitted same-sex marriage.

Vidmar claimed his opposition to same-sex marriage comes from his religious beliefs as a Mormon.