In honor of #PrideMonth, I want to celebrate the courageous LGBTQ+ athletes who have paved the way for equality and representation in sport, including the Olympics. Your achievements echo beyond the finish lines and scoreboards.
We remember the likes of Greg Louganis, a champion diver and an inspiration to us all. His courage to publicly share his journey as an openly gay, HIV-positive Olympian is nothing short of monumental.
Let's also honor Megan Rapinoe, a tireless advocate for equality, whose skill on the soccer field is rivaled only by her advocacy off it. Megan, you have shown us that being an athlete means more than just winning medals; it means standing up for what you believe in.
This month, we celebrate your victories, your strength, and your advocacy. We affirm that sport is a universal language that should unite us, irrespective of our sexual orientation or gender identity. Let's strive to create a world where every athlete can compete as a sports figure, role model, and inspiring influence, regardless of their individual persuasion.
#PrideInSport #LGBTQ+ #PrideMonth #Olympics2023
Today, on Memorial Day, we reflect on the courageous sacrifices of our service men and women, who laid down their lives for our freedom. Their selflessness allows us the liberties we cherish, the freedom to dream, to excel, and to participate in the sports we love.
In their honor, I would like to highlight some inspiring figures who transitioned from military service to Olympic success, embodying the enduring spirit of our armed forces.
Let us remember Louis Zamperini, a World War II veteran and former Olympian, who showcased the resilience and strength of our servicemen. His incredible journey from the 1936 Berlin Olympics to a prisoner-of-war camp embodies the indomitable spirit of an American hero.
We also celebrate Melissa Stockwell, an Iraq War veteran, who became the first American woman to lose a limb in active combat. Her determination led her to become a world-class Paralympian and a symbol of resilience for us all.
And of course, we salute David Robinson, a US Naval Academy graduate, who not only dominated the courts in the NBA but also represented us brilliantly on the Olympic stage.
Today, we pay tribute to those who served, and to their families, who share in their sacrifice. Their valor remains our inspiration in every sphere of life. Let us carry their legacy forward, promoting peace and unity in all that we do.
#MemorialDay #HonorAndRemember #VeteranOlympians
As an International Olympic Committee (IOC) member and advocate for sport as a unifying force, I commend the G7's support for the autonomy of sports organizations. It's crucial to remember that athletes should not bear the weight of political disputes.
The IOC's guidelines were designed to uphold the integrity of international sports events while maintaining necessary sanctions against those responsible for the war. It's important to balance the right of athletes to compete with our responsibility to ensure fair and peaceful competition.
Sport has always had the power to bridge divides and foster unity, and it's vital that we uphold this principle, even in challenging times. Let us strive to live up to the mission of international sport, allowing it to unite the people of the world, spanning across eclectic cultures, languages, and beliefs.
If you're interested, please take a look at the full Q&A available here: https://olympics.com/ioc/news/q-a-on-solidarity-with-ukraine-sanctions-against-russia-and-belarus-and-the-status-of-athletes-from-these-countries
#PeaceThroughSport #IOC #G7Support #AnitaDeFrantz #USOPC #Olympics #OlympicGames #IOC #Sports
Celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month: Recognizing Exceptional Olympic Athletes
As we observe Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, it is an opportune time to acknowledge the exceptional accomplishments and contributions of some notable Asian-American Olympic athletes. Their dedication and skill have left a lasting impact on the world of sports.
🔹 Michelle Kwan, a figure skating legend, has earned five World Championships, nine U.S. National Championships, and two Olympic medals.
🔹 Apolo Ohno stands as the most decorated American Winter Olympian with eight medals in short track speed skating, including two golds.
🔹 Nathan Adrian has made his mark in swimming with eight Olympic medals, five of which are gold.
🔹 Kristi Yamaguchi achieved great success as the 1992 Olympic gold medalist in ladies' singles figure skating.
🔹 Chloe Kim showcased her fearlessness when she won the gold medal in the women's halfpipe event at the 2018 Winter Olympics.
🔹 Kyla Ross was a key member of the iconic "Fierce Five" U.S. women's gymnastics team that won gold in 2012.
🔹 Amy Chow proudly represented the "Magnificent Seven" U.S. women's gymnastics team that won gold in 1996.
🔹 Julie Chu, a trailblazer for the U.S. women's ice hockey team, holds four Olympic medals to her name.
These extraordinary athletes have excelled in their respective disciplines and have paved the way for future generations of Asian-Pacific American athletes to pursue their dreams and attain greatness. As we celebrate their contributions, let us continue to support and uplift the voices of the Asian-American community.
#AsianPacificHeritageMonth #Olympians #Inspiration #CelebratingDiversity
Honoring the Extraordinary Life of Herb Douglas: Oldest Living U.S. Olympic Medalist
It is with deep sadness that I learned of the passing of Herb Douglas, the oldest living U.S. Olympic medalist, who won bronze in the long jump at the 1948 Summer Games in London. Herb was an exceptional athlete, a trailblazer, and an inspiration to countless individuals.
Beyond his Olympic achievements, Herb was a champion for others, opening doors of opportunity and helping people pursue success. His remarkable life and legacy will continue to inspire future generations of athletes and community leaders.
My thoughts are with his family, friends, and all who were touched by his incredible spirit. Rest in peace, Herb. Your impact and contributions will never be forgotten.
#HerbDouglas #Olympian #Legacy
Upholding the Olympic Charter: Finding a Path Forward for Russian and Belarussian Athletes
As an Olympic medalist and International Olympic Committee member, I find the recent discussions around the IOC's recommendation to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete as neutrals both thought-provoking and concerning. While the Russian Olympic Committee's athletes' commission has deemed the proposal "excessive and discriminatory," others argue that it is too lenient.
It is important to recognize the complexity of the situation and to carefully consider all perspectives. We must strive to uphold the values of the Olympic Charter and ensure that the rights of all athletes are respected. The international sports community must come together to navigate these challenging times and make decisions that uphold the spirit of the Olympic Games.
#Olympics #IOC #SportsDiplomacy
As an African American female athlete, I've found inspiration in Maya Angelou's works of poetry that celebrate strength and perseverance in the face of adversity. Today, we honor her legacy and contributions to literature. Her powerful words have encouraged me to push past my own limits and to believe in myself, even when others have doubted me. Some of her most notable works, like 'Still I Rise,' 'Phenomenal Woman,' and 'I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,' remind me that we all are capable of overcoming any obstacle to rise to greatness. During National Poetry Month, let's celebrate and honor Maya Angelou's spirit by sharing her words and inspiring others to never give up on their dreams.
#MayaAngelou #NationalPoetryMonth #PoetryCelebration
As an athlete, I know the importance of pushing yourself to be the best you can be. And as National Poetry Month begins, I'm reminded that poetry can inspire and motivate us just as much as sports can. So let's take a moment to appreciate the beauty and power of language, and celebrate the diverse voices of poets all around the world." - Anita
#NationalPoetryMonth #PoetryInspires #DiverseVoices
Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone! Today we celebrate the patron saint of Ireland and all things Irish. Whether you're donning green, enjoying some traditional Irish cuisine, or just taking in the festivities, I hope you have a wonderful day. Let's all take a moment to appreciate the rich culture and history of Ireland, and remember the importance of community and togetherness during these challenging times. Sláinte! 🍀🇮🇪 #StPatricksDay #Ireland #IrishCulture #Community #Togetherness #Sláinte
In November 1976, DeFrantz voted for Jimmy Carter. By 1980, she wanted a mulligan.
She had just trained another three-plus years to earn a spot on the 1980 Olympic rowing team — until Carter announced the U.S. would be boycotting the Moscow Games to protest the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Other Olympic athletes groaned and threw up their hands in disgust; DeFrantz actually did something about it.
She demanded a meeting with Carter. She wasn’t going to stop until she got it. She warned her parents the DeFrantz name was going to be dragged through the mud in the coming months, that she would be “standing up to suppress” the president of the United States. She told her folks if they wanted her to end her crusade, tell her now. They answered: Go get ’em.
“I didn’t mind killing my career,” she said.
She had ideas for Carter. She said the ’80 team could just boycott Moscow’s opening ceremony to send a message. Or they could have just one person walk in carrying the U.S. flag. Or, like the European countries, they could enter solemnly under the Olympic flag “so the president wouldn’t be embarrassed.”
READ MORE at the Sports Business Journal: https://www.sportsbusinessjournal.com/Journal/Issues/2022/09/12/Champions/Anita-DeFrantz.aspx
Official blog of author, athlete, and IOC official, Ms. Anita DeFrantz.