© John Cheng

“Earlier today, Peter Vidmar chose to resign as the chef de mission of the U.S. Olympic Team for the 2012 Olympic Games. This selfless gesture is indicative of the man we in gymnastics know very well – a man of principle and integrity who treats everyone equally and has the best interests of the athletes and the Olympic movement at heart. Peter is known for bringing people together in friendship, regardless of their creed, ethnic background, religion, sexual orientation or culture. He has shown his dedication and commitment to gymnastics, its athletes and the Olympics through his many years of service.” – Steve Penny

Below is the official U.S. Olympic Committee release.

Peter Vidmar to step down as London 2012 Chef de Mission

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Citing his commitment to Team USA and America’s Olympic athletes, and his belief that any distraction for the athletes would be a disservice to the team, Peter Vidmar has resigned his role as Chef de Mission of Team USA for the Games of the XXX Olympiad.

"I have dedicated my life to the Olympic Movement and the ideals of excellence, friendship and respect," said Vidmar. "I wish that my personal religious beliefs would not have become a distraction from the amazing things that are happening in the Olympic Movement in the United States. I simply cannot have my presence become a detriment to the U.S. Olympic family. I hope that by stepping aside, the athletes and their stories will rightly take center stage."

"Peter is respected the world-over for his dedication and commitment to the Olympic Movement and is rightly considered one of America’s great Olympic champions. I believe Peter would have served our athletes well, but given the nature of this issue, I certainly respect his decision to resign," said USOC CEO Scott Blackmun. "As we look toward London 2012 and the selection of Peter’s replacement, we’ll do so with the sole intent of showcasing America’s best and brightest stars and the inspirational story that each member of our Olympic team has to share."