USOC Pressures Park Pool to Drop 'Olympic' from Name

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The United States Olympic Committee can be fairly protective of the word "Olympic." Just ask parks officials in Arlington Heights, Ill.

The Arlington Heights (Ill.) Park District last week announced that it was changing the name of its Olympic Indoor Swim Center to Arlington Ridge Center after the USOC pressured the district to vacate use of "Olympic" when naming the facility and surrounding park.

As reported by Chicago's Daily Heraldthe pressure began with a June 2018 communication in which the USOC cited a 1978 law, the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act, which gives the committee broad powers to control uses of the Olympic name and logos. Under the federal law, the USOC can bring a civil action for trademark infringement against any organization using the name without the committee's authorization.

The letter said the park district could keep the name if there was evidence it had been there before 1950. Olympic's indoor pool opened in 1970, and the park was branded with the name around the same time, according to Brian Meyer, the park district's director of recreation and facilities.

The district and USOC mutually agreed to a Dec. 31, 2019, deadline to rename the facility in concert with the completion of a $17 million renovation and expansion of the building.

A park district news release announcing the new name — Arlington Ridge Center — said it is reflective of the expanded building's "broader recreation commitment."

When complete in early 2020, the building will be the park district's largest indoor facility, with a gymnasium that has two full-size basketball courts, a second-floor indoor walking track, a 30-by-50-foot warm-water pool, a fitness area and multipurpose rooms.


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