•Black History Month•
Ready, Row! USA #62
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Our exclusive interview with the legendary and inspiring Anita DeFrantz at the 2019 USRowing Convention kicks off our celebration of Black History Month.
Anita DeFrantz was born in 1952 in Philadelphia, USA. A member of the Vesper Boat Club in her home city, she was captain of the American rowing team at the 1976 Summer Olympics, which won the bronze medal in women’s eight.
In 1980 the United States boycotted the Moscow Olympic Games in Moscow, USSR, and, although DeFrantz had qualified for the 1980 U.S. Olympic team, she was unable to compete. She was one of 461 athletes to receive a Congressional Gold Medal. Ms DeFrantz is currently vice-president of the Olympic Committee for World Rowing (FISA).In 1986, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) appointed DeFrantz to membership in the organization. She became the first chair of the prototype of the IOC Women in Sport Commission in 1992, and the first female vice-president of the IOC executive committee in 1997, serving until 2001.
On June 25, 2012, DeFrantz was elected to her second stint on the IOC Executive Board, and she was elected to a four-year term as IOC Vice President at the 131st IOC Session in Lima, Peru on September 15, 2017. DeFrantz also serves on the board of the Al Oerter Foundation (AOF) which runs the Art of the Olympians (AOTO) program which is an international organization of Olympian and Paralympian artists promoting the Olympic values and ideals through educational and cultural programs and exhibitions. (partially adapted from Wikipedia).