By Duncan Mackay

Angela Ruggiero_with_chin_in_hands_Vancouver_February_11_2010August 28 - Another important step forward in a potential campaign from the United States for the Olympics and Paralympics came today when a five-person panel to assess a future bid was announced. 

It includes Anita DeFrantz (pictured) and Angela Ruggiero, both members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), along with USA Hockey executive director Dave Ogrean. 

The panel is completed by Mike Plant, the executive vice-president of business operations for Major League Baseball's Atlanta Braves, and Susanne Lyons, the former executive vice-president and chief marketing officer of Visa USA.

All five are members of the United States Olympic Committee's (USOC) Board. 

The group is expected to report to the full USOC board at its quarterly meeting in December.

It is expected to consider bidding for the Summer Olympics in 2024 or the Winter Games in 2026.

The USOC have already ruled out a bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics, despite interest from several cities, including Salt Lake City, the last American city to host the Games. 

Since then there have been failed bids from New York City for the 2012 Olympics and Chicago for 2016, who humiliatingly were eliminated in the first round of IOC voting at Copenhagen in 2009 even though US President Barack Obama had flown in specially to lobby on behalf of the city.

Barack Obama_addressing_the_IOC_Copenhagen_October_2_2009Chicago 2016 were still eliminated in the first round of voting three years ago even though US President Barack Obama spoke on their behalf 

New York City and Los Angeles have both been strongly linked with a bid for the 2024 Olympics.

"Today the USOC announced the members of the Board who will be part of our previously announced bid working group," said Scott Blackmun, the chief executive of the USOC.  

"This group of individuals will be tasked with looking at the process and timetable of a potential Olympic bid from the United States. 

"Given the experience this group of people bring to the table, we are confident that they will make great progress on this issue by our December Board meeting."

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