LOS ANGELES (November 8, 2013) – Today, LA84 Foundation President and International Olympic Committee Member Anita L. DeFrantz was honored by the International Rowing Federation (FISA) for a lifetime of service to the sport of rowing. The presentation of the 2013 Distinguished Services to International Rowing award took place at a gala dinner on Friday at the FISA World Rowing Coaches Conference in Tallinn, Estonia.
DeFrantz has served as the Vice President of the organization since 1993, and will be stepping down from this position at the end of the year. She was nominated by her peers for this honor, and was subsequently selected as a finalist and the eventual winner by officials in the FISA Council and Executive Committee.
FISA, which stands for the Fédération Internationale des Sociétés d’Aviron, is the governing body of the sport of rowing. It consists of 142 National Rowing Federation members, and is responsible for the worldwide governance of the sport as well as the production of the competition during the Olympic Games. It also organizes World Rowing events, promotes the sport on the international stage and serves as a knowledge center for rowing coaches and regatta organizers.
DeFrantz began her rowing career as an undergraduate at Connecticut College, and went on to become the captain of the U.S. women’s Olympic Rowing team at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal. She was a member of the bronze medal-winning U.S. eight. Before beginning her tenure with FISA, she was a member of the United States Rowing Association Board of Directors from 1975 to 1979. She was inducted into the National Rowing Hall of Fame in 2010.
“From my years on the Connecticut college team to my time at Vespers Boat club of Philadelphia, the U.S. Olympic team in Montreal and with FISA, rowing has opened my life to a world of service to communities through sport,” said DeFrantz. “Rowing is the ultimate team sport and I believe because of this, rowers are geared toward service. We have experienced the joy of competition as a team, which makes it easy for us to continue work as a team for the betterment of our communities. I thank FISA for this honor and I look forward to continuing my work in promoting sports in Los Angeles and around the world with the LA84 Foundation, the International Olympic Committee and other organizations.”
“It is a great pleasure to honor Anita for her decades of service to FISA and the international sport of rowing,” said Denis Oswald, FISA President. “She has been a committed and vocal advocate for the sport at the highest levels, and has faithfully modeled our core values and traditions to competitors, coaches and officials around the world.”
About the LA84 Foundation
The LA84 Foundation was established to manage Southern California’s share of the surplus from the successful 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. The Foundation received an endowment of $93 million. Since it began operations in 1985, it has invested $214 million in sports programs serving more than 3 million youth in the eight Southern California counties of Los Angeles, Imperial, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara and Ventura. Its headquarters is the historic Britt House near downtown Los Angeles where it houses the world’s premier sports library and meeting facilities. The Foundation provides grants to youth sports organizations, manages programs, including a coaching education program, and convenes numerous forums for the exploration of the most pressing issues in sport. For more information, please visit www.la84.org.