POSTED: June 23rd 2012

Olympian Anita DeFrantz remembers the 40th anniversary of Title IX and Olympic Day

Olympian and attorney Anita DeFrantz / IOC
Olympian and attorney Anita DeFrantz / IOC

LAURA WALDEN / Sports Features Communications

June 23 – International Olympic Committee (IOC) member and head of the LA 84 Foundation Anita DeFrantz has issued the following statement to mark two important happenings in the sports movement today. Forty years ago this day Title IX was passed and also the 204 countries around the world involved with the Olympic Movement mark their calendars for Olympic Day celebrations.

Bronze medal rowing Olympian, DeFrantz, has always been a fighter for athletes’ rights. Even the IOC awarded her the Bronze Medal of the Olympic Order for her leadership role in fighting the U.S. government-led boycott of the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow.

During the Los Angeles Games of ’84 she served as vice president for the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee (LAOOC), where she organized and managed the Olympic Village at the University of Southern California.

Currently she is also the chair of the IOC Women and Sport Commission and is in charge of the LA 84 Foundation that was started with the proceeds of the highly successful summer Olympic Games. The LA 84 Foundation has made a significant difference in the grassroots sports movement of Southern California.

The statement reads:

“Title IX passed on June 23, 1972, banning sex discrimination in all education programs, including sports, that receive federal funds.  

“This critical moment in history opened the door for all girls to have access to sports, not just a fortunate few. And in the same spirit, on June 23, Olympic Day is observed by people around the world to promote participation in sport regardless of age, gender or athletic ability.

“Now, forty years later, we've made progress, as evidenced by female participation in high school sports increasing by 900 percent, according to the Women’s Sports Foundation. But we're still aspiring to make sure all students have access -- because we know it can make the difference between failure and success in life.  

“I have had extraordinary opportunities and success in my life.  I can trace many of my achievements to my involvement with sports or to the values I honed by training and competing.  

“I've had the unparalleled opportunity to lead the LA84 Foundation, the legacy of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games.

“For the past 28 years we have invested more than $200 million back in the community helping kids participate in sports and reap the benefits; doing better in school, in the work place and in life. But there is so much more to do.

“As we honor this significant day, and look toward the upcoming 2012 London Olympic Games I hope everyone in communities across America will rally in the true spirit of the Olympic Movement -- to help a child know the power of sport and the good that can come from teamwork, healthy competition and striving to be one's best.” 

Keywords · Olympics · Anita DeFrantz · LA 84 · summer Olympics

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