| May 20, 2001
Judge Herbert Curtis, III
Ventura County Court
I have been asked to provide you with a statement explaining what I did, why I did it, how I feel about my crime now, and what sentence I think I should get.
I smoked marijuana in my non-competitive season usually three to four months a year. I did not smoke marijuana during my competitive season due to drug testing. I also sold marijuana to my friends during the off-season.
Due to my celebrity status I developed a lot of high profile contacts. I began using these contacts to "hook up" my friends with all kinds of things to do. I was usually the person who arranged activities for my friends and me. For instance, I would arrange for discounted concert tickets and VIP entrance into nightclubs. I would also coordinate out of town trips, i.e., to the Pro Bowl in Hawaii or off-road racing in the desert. I would also make arrangements for my friends with discounted merchandise and services from various suppliers. I was always the one to "hook up" my friends.
I purchased marijuana for my own consumption. I bought only very high quality marijuana. As time went on, because the quality I was able to obtain was so good, my friends began asking if they could get some from me. I sold it to them only as a favor, friend to friend, sort of another way of"hooking them up". Contrary to popular opinion, I did not sell marijuana for the money; my annual income was well over $75,000 from sponsorships, speaking engagements, personal appearances, etc.
Before my arrest, I didn't think I would ever get caught. I was living life in the fast lane and leading a double life; even deceiving those closest to me, my family. I did not appreciate what I had in my life and I never stopped to think about the consequences of my actions. There is no justification for my actions; I was completely thoughtless to those around me.
Immediately after my arrest, when the world seemed to be crashing down around me, I wanted to crawl under a rock and die; that was the easy way out. Thank God, my family was able to help me through it.
Unfortunately, I wasn't the only one affected by my actions; it affected everyone who knew me.
After my arrest, I was actually relieved; no longer would I have to lead a double life. Please don't misunderstand me. I am truly sorry my family had to find out this way and am still tormented by the pain I have caused them. Not a day goes by that I don't think about it. My family suffered great embarrassment with the whole world hearing about my arrest and having to explain my actions to their friends, coworkers and clients who had followed my Olympic efforts.
In addition to my family, there were many other people who looked up to me and counted on me, and I let them all down. The parents who looked to me as a role model for their children. My archery equipment sponsors who had financially supported me. The entire archery community who had adopted me as their sport's icon. And last but certainly not least, the Olympic Movement to whom I brought even more unwanted embarrassment at a time they didn't need it.
I also created a great deal of stress for the management of the National Archery Association and the U.S. Olympic Committee who struggled with how the outcome of my case would affect the then upcoming 2000 Olympics. I stepped down from the team to allow these organizations to prepare for the Games. That was an easy fix, but I could not fix my parents broken hearts.
Before my arrest, I did not appreciate what I had in my life. Maybe if I had not been exposed, I might have gone through life, living high on the hill with ten gold medals. But I would have been miserable inside, not appreciating the people and things around me. I have come to appreciate what I have in my life, most importantly, a family who loves me.
Having lost the pride of my parents, the respect of everyone around me, my Olympic Archery career and with it a very lucrative income, I have had to start my life over.
Since my arrest I have worked everyday and gone back to school. I will graduate this semester with an AA degree from Moorpark Community College and plan on continuing my college education at CSUN. I will also be actively working to get the Federation of International Target Archery (FITA) to lift the lifetime ban I will receive as a result of my conviction, so that I may be able to compete in future Olympic Games.
I knew the use of marijuana was against the law. I personally believed marijuana to be a lesser threat to society than alcohol use. I know that, regardless of my philosophical view of marijuana's use in society, it is and continues to be an illegal substance. I have since learned, over the past 14 months, and come to the conclusion through discussions with my family, that the laws of society have to be obeyed or there would be utter chaos.
I have been asked what sentence I think I should receive. This is a hard question to answer. I recognize I must pay for my crime and live with the consequences of my actions. I continue to pay a very high price for what I did. My response, due to my own self-interests, would be no sentence at all, but I am prepared to pay for my crime and leave it to your discretion. My sentence is your decision; to live a law abiding lifestyle is my decision.
Knowing what I know now, I wish I could turn back the clock and do it over again, but I can't. I can only hope to make my parents proud of me again. I have learned my lesson in a very big way, one that I will never forget. After I pay my debt to society, I want to put this behind me and work toward keeping my life on track doing positive things.