Texans Won’t Carry the Torch

Another Olympic race is shaping up in this country, far from the competitive arenas in Sydney, Australia.

Sources said last week that the United States Olympic Committee, headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colo., is holding a review for its pro bono account without the participation of incumbent agency GSD&M of Austin, Texas.

Agency spokesperson Eric Webber comfirmed GSD&M would not defend the business.

“Considering our current level of activity, we’ve made a decision not to pursue any pro bono accounts at this time,” he said.

USOC spokesperson Doug Hall declined to comment, noting that any potential review would be placed on hold with most of the committee’s members currently attending the games in Sydney. “Right now there’s just nothing we can do,” he said.

GSD&M created the USOC’s first-ever campaign last summer. Print ads appearing Sports Illustrated, Time and other magazines featured individual Olympic athletes and teams against the backdrop of an American flag.

The first ad pictured nine-time track and field gold medalist Carl Lewis. Accompanying copy stated: “He never looked back. If he had, he would have seen a whole country behind him.” The tagline for the campaign was: “Who’s our next hero?”

The USOC, a nonprofit organization funded by individual and corporate donations, supports the participation of American athletes in the quadrennial Olympic Games.