Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Judge Lee Named Chef de Mission for 2008 Olympic Games
By a MetNews Staff Writer
The United States Olympic Committee announced the appointment of Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Charles Carter Lee as Chef de Mission for the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team at the XXIX Olympic Games in Beijing, China.
The committee announced Friday that Lee had been appointed by a unanimous vote of the committee’s Board of Directors.
Lee said in a release that he is “deeply honored” by the appointment and that he is “thrilled to have the opportunity to work with such an exceptional group.”
The 61-year old Virginia native is fluent in Mandarin, which he studied during a two-year leave of absence from law school at the Taiwan National Normal University’s Mandarin Center in Tasipet, Taiwan.
He visited China earlier this year after receiving a Fulbright Senior Specialist Grant to lead a series of lectures on the California legal system in Mandarin and English over a two-week period at the China University of Political Science and Law in Beijing.
In a statement, USOC Chairman Peter Ueberroth called Lee’s experience, stature and knowledge of both the Olympic Movement and China “unparalleled.”
Lee previously traveled to China for two weeks in 2006 to give a series of lectures in six Chinese cities regarding the California state court structure after receiving a Specialist Grant from the U.S. Department of State.
The jurist was also previously appointed to serve as Envoy to the People’s Republic of China for the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles by the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee. After the Soviet Union announced its boycott of the event, Lee headed a delegation to China for talks, which concluded with China’s formal agreement to participate in the 1984 Olympic Games.
Lee “fondly” recalled those events, and said: “I look forward to renewing old friendships and making new ones.”
Former President George H. W. Bush was named the Honorary Chef de Mission of the 2008 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Teams in October 2007.
Copyright 2008, Metropolitan News Company