Anita DeFrantz Announces Her Candidacy to Head the IOC -- February 4, 2001
Feb. 4. ANITA L. DeFRANTZ, a member of the USOC Executive Board, first vice president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and vice president of FISA, the international rowing federation, announced today that she is standing for election as president of the IOC. DeFrantz made the
announcement in Dakar, Senegal where she is attending a meeting of the IOC Executive Board.
"I believe in the Olympic Movement and its goal to contribute to building a peaceful and better world through sport. Through my service to the Olympic Movement for 24 years, half of my life, I have seen its universal power to unite people in a celebration of human excellence. I have fought to protect it and nurture its growth. IOC members have the responsibility to ensure that the Olympic Movement endures. I can do that most effectively as president of the IOC utilizing the IOC's fundamental beliefs of respect and solidarity as well as the operating principles of inclusion, transparency and accountability," she said.
DeFrantz was elected to the IOC on October 17, 1986. On September 4, 1997, she became the first woman in the 103-year history of the IOC to be elected a vice president. She is currently first vice president, the
highest position attained by an American within the IOC since Avery Brundage was president. She was first elected to the IOC's Executive Board on July 23, 1992.
A member of the 1976 and 1980 US Olympic teams, DeFrantz won a bronze medal in rowing at the Montreal Olympic Games. In 1980, she opposed the US government-led boycott of the Moscow Olympic Games for which the IOC awarded her the Bronze Medal of the Olympic Order.
DeFrantz served on the USOC Athletes' Advisory Council from 1976 to 1984 and has served on the USOC Executive Board since 1977.
"The United States Olympic Committee is pleased that Anita DeFrantz, an American bronze medalist in Rowing at the 1976 Olympic Games, has chosen to seek another dream, the Presidency of the International Olympic
Committee. Anita has been at the forefront of the Olympic Movement in the United States for two decades, and her contributions to sport and to athletes around the world are truly significant," said Sandy Baldwin, USOC president and chairman of the board.
"I am happy to hear that Anita DeFrantz has decided to seek the presidency of the International Olympic Committee. She has been a champion for athletes, for women in sport, and for the Olympic Movement both in the United States and around the world," added Bill Hybl, IOC Member from the United States, President Emeritus, USOC.
Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, October 4, 1952, DeFrantz grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana. She is a graduate of Connecticut College, 1974, and the University of Pennsylvania Law School, 1977. She was admitted to the Pennsylvania State Bar the same year. Following a career in law and business, she joined Peter V. Ueberroth at the Los Angeles Olympic
Organizing Committee to plan the Olympic villages in 1981. She became vice president and was responsible for managing the Olympic Village at the University of Southern California.
In 1985, DeFrantz joined the staff of the Amateur Athletic Foundation of Los Angeles (AAF), the organization established to manage the surplus from
the 1984 Olympic Games. She has served as the AAF's president since 1987; successfully managing the organization as it disbursed more than the original endowment, while more than doubling its size.
Since 1993, she has served as vice president of FISA fulfilling a commitment to give back to organizations that have made a difference in her life.
DeFrantz is also president and a member of the Board of Directors of Kids In Sports, Los Angeles and is a member of several boards including: Salt Lake City Olympic Organizing Committee, Western Asset Trust, Inc., the Martin Luther King Legacy Association, the Institute for International Sport, Children NOW, Santa Monica College Foundation and the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. She is a trustee and steward of the Women's Sports Foundation.
DeFrantz has received numerous honors and awards. She is the recipient of the USOC's Olympic Torch Award, the highest recognition the United States Olympic Committee bestows for service to the USOC, and holds honorary doctoral degrees from several colleges and universities. She has been named as one of the "Top 25 Female Sports Executives" by Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal and one of "The 100 Most Powerful Women In The World" by The Australian Magazine. DeFrantz is the first non-French woman and second American (Avery Brundage was the first) to be elected an associate member of the Academie des Sports in France.
The election for president of the IOC will take place July 16, 2001 at the 112th IOC Session in Moscow. If elected, Derantz would be the first woman, first African-American and second American to serve. Avery Brundage was president from 1952-1972.