Kelly Crabb made his first Olympics at the 2002 Salt Lake City winter games. Now he’s a member of the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics team. And though he has no shot at making Vancouver in 2010, he’s pushing to be a part of the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore in 2010 and the London summer team in 2012.
But Crabb isn’t an athlete.
“I wish I was,” laughs the Los Angeles-based partner at Morrison & Foerster. Crabb and his Beijing-based partner, Steven Toronto, act as international counsel to the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games. In that capacity, Crabb and Toronto oversee legal work at Morrison & Foerster offices around the globe on issues such as venue construction, ticketing, broadcasting and intellectual property protection.
“We were engaged in the fall of 2002 and have worked with BOCOG ever since,” Crabb says. “It takes six years to get ready for the games. It’s quite an endeavor.”
Joining Crabb on the Beijing Olympics legal team are attorneys throughout the world. Some have worked in the Olympic movement for years; others are new to the games. Some were semiprofessional athletes—even Olympians—themselves. Whatever their background, they say Olympics work is challenging because of the breadth and complexity of the issues.