By Duncan Mackay

Val Belmonte_head_and_shouldersAugust 24 - USA Fencing has appointed Val Belmonte as its new chief executive and executive director, they announced today. 

Belmonte, who will assume his new position in Colorado Springs on September 4, joins the organisation with more than 20 years of experience as a sports executive in the private sector, intercollegiate athletics and with national governing bodies of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).

"We are thrilled to welcome Val to USA Fencing," said USA Fencing President Donald Anthony.

"Val is a visionary leader who is fully committed to the Olympic Movement and the athletes.

He is an excellent relationship builder and experienced fundraiser who clearly understands the challenges ahead and is prepared to work with the organisation's officers and board to take USA Fencing to greater heights."

The USA Fencing board of directors selected Belmonte, a former executive with USA Hockey and US Figure Skating, at the conclusion of a six-month nationwide search process.

"I'm honoured to be selected as USA Fencing's CEO and can't wait to be part of the United States Olympic Committee family once again," Belmonte said.

"USA Fencing has established itself as a strong national governing body and a sport with tremendous growth potential.

"I relish the opportunity to lead USA Fencing into the next phase of success and I look forward to working with existing and new stakeholders joining me in that endeavour."

The United States (US) won one medal at London 2012, a bronze in the women's team épée, their worst performance since Sydney in 2000.

US womens_epee_team_celebrate_bronze_medal_at_London_2012The US women's epee team celebrate winning the bronze medal at London 2012 with a 31-30 victory over Russia

But Belmonte sees an exciting future for the sport in the US.

"Together, I know we will accomplish great things," he said.

"I want to thank Donald Anthony, the board and the members of the search committee for their confidence and support."

Belmonte is a former ice hockey player whose career was ended by a severe eye injury after he was checked into the boards of a new rink that had a nail sticking out of the boards.

Belmonte has served as a principal partner and co-founder at Game7Seven, a development and management company, in Chicago since 2009.

Prior to that, Belmonte was a vice-president at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut; executive director of US Figure Skating in Colorado Springs; director of athletics at Union College in Schenectady, New York; and director of coaching education at USA Hockey in Colorado Springs.

He has also served on several committees with National Collegiate Athletic Association conferences, the USOC and USA Hockey. 

"Val is an accomplished executive with an outstanding sports background and a passion for the movement," said Dave Ogrean, USA Hockey's executive director and a former colleague of Belmonte's.

"USA Fencing is fortunate to have his experience and leadership. 

"I am delighted that he is coming back to the Olympic Family."

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