September 29, 2014

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. (AP) The president of USA Luge has been selected for a commission that will help the International Olympic Committee evaluate candidate cities for the 2022 Winter Games.

Dwight Bell, whose term with USA Luge runs through 2018, will represent the Association of International Olympic Winter Sports Federations - a group of seven organizations that are governing bodies for sports including biathlon, bobsled, skeleton, luge, curling, ice hockey, figure skating, speed skating, skiing, ski jumping and snowboarding.

Bell served in a similar capacity in the process that led to Sochi being selected as the host for the 2014 Winter Games.

''I am privileged to represent the seven Olympic Winter International Federations in this process, and looking forward to starting this important work,'' Bell said.

The commission will be chaired by Russian Olympic Committee President Alexander Zhukov.

Bell is one of two Americans on the commission. Grant Thomas, who helped oversee venues and transportation for the Salt Lake City Organizing Committee during the 2002 Olympics, also was among those who were announced Monday.

''As much as this is reflective of how Dwight is viewed by the Olympic community, it is a great honor for our organization to have its current board president named to the commission,'' USA Luge CEO Jim Leahy said. ''It's a proud moment for USA Luge.''

The commission's study is used as a guide to assist IOC members in selecting a host city. The IOC will choose the 2022 host city - either Oslo, Norway; Almaty, Kazakhstan; or Beijing - on July 31, 2015.

The commission will spend five days in each of the three cities during February and March, plus see the proposed venue sites from each bid.

''Each member of the commission brings a wide range of expertise and experience and understands what it takes to host a sustainable, well-organized and ultimately successful Olympic Winter Games,'' IOC President Thomas Bach said.

Bell was the assistant chef de mission for the U.S. Olympic Committee at the 1998 Nagano Games, before becoming chef de mission in 2002 for the Salt Lake Games.

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