On the occasion of Olympic Day, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Olympic family today celebrated the 2010 Women and Sport Awards. Five continental trophies and one world trophy were given to exceptional personalities who all have made a significant difference to boosting the development, participation and involvement of women and girls in sport around the world.
The official ceremony was held at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne, in the presence of IOC President Jacques Rogge; Anita DeFrantz, IOC member and Chairperson of the IOC Women and Sport Commission; the members of the IOC Women and Sport Commission; IOC Executive Board members; and guests invited to take part in the Olympic Day celebrations.
The winners of the 2010 Women and Sport Awards – five women and one man - include former Olympic medallists, sports leaders and political decision-makers.
National Olympic Committees (NOCs), International Federations (IFs) and Continental Associations were invited to submit candidatures, and the winners were selected by the IOC Women and Sport Commission. This year, the trophies were awarded as follows:
- IOC World Trophy: Erica Terpstra (Netherlands)
- IOC Trophy for Africa: Germaine Manguet (Guinea)
- IOC Trophy for the Americas: Leslie McDonald (Canada)
- IOC Trophy for Asia: Yuko Arimori (Japan)
- IOC Trophy for Europe: Grete Waitz (Norway)
- IOC Trophy for Oceania: Susan Simcock (New Zealand)
Addressing the winners and the audience, President Rogge said: “It is fitting that our celebration of Olympic Day this year includes the presentation of the 2010 IOC Women and Sport Awards. For all the progress that society has made, we still need to improve the access of girls and women to sport around the world. The recipients of the Women and Sport Awards are role models who are opening doors to gender equality on the field of play, within coaching staff and in sports administration.”
Speaking at the ceremony, Anita DeFrantz said: "Olympic Day is about getting everybody to move and about moving together - regardless of age, athletic ability and gender. It is meant to be a truly inclusive event that can be celebrated by everybody, everywhere. Today’s award winners have all embraced this philosophy.” Speaking about achievements, she declared: “On the field of play, we are moving closer and closer to men and women competing in even numbers on the world’s greatest sporting stage. This year, more than 40 per cent of the athletes taking part in Vancouver 2010 were women, a new record for women’s participation in the Olympic Winter Games.”
Information on the winners:
Erica Terpstra (The Netherlands)
Twice an Olympic medallist in swimming, Erica Terpstra participated in Rome in 1960 and Tokyo in 1964. After her athletic career, she went on to serve sport. Her term of office as President of the Netherlands Olympic Committee has just come to an end. In this function, she used her influence and position to involve all members of Dutch society in sport and to promote a tolerant and equal environment in sports associations throughout the country. Throughout her career, Erica Terpstra has supported initiatives targeting disadvantaged communities and people with disabilities in and outside the Netherlands. In her activities, she has always highlighted the challenges and achievements of girls and women in particular. For instance, she supports the NGOs Women Win, which promotes sport and physical activity as instruments for social change and women’s empowerment in developing countries, and Lady Fit, a fitness club for migrant women in the Netherlands. Furthermore, she managed the Female Managers Network of the Netherlands and helped create the Fanny Blankers-Koen Award, which pays tribute to one of the greatest women athletes of all time by rewarding sportspersons in the Netherlands for outstanding achievements, both sporting and non-sporting.
Erica Terpstra, a former sports journalist, was a member of the Dutch parliament from 1977 until 2003, including a term as Minister of Sport. She headed the European Year Against Discrimination and made a high-profile stand against age discrimination by companies and organisations in the Netherlands. Erica Terpstra attends countless events each year, including walks or runs raising funds for women, tournaments for girl athletes, or other related good causes, and her presence invariably attracts greater numbers of participants.
Germaine Manguet (Guinea)
As Chairperson of the Women and Sport Commission of the NOC of Guinea, Germaine Manguet has created regional branches of the Commission, established the national day of Women and Sport, organised sports administration training sessions and helped integrate women into sports organisations and national policy decision-making. She has ensured that all the Commission’s events would be covered by predominantly female journalists and she has organised an annual radio programme on the theme of women and sport. Furthermore, as Minister of Social Affairs and Promotion of Women and Children of Guinea in 2008 and in 2009, Germaine Manguet played an important role in the promotion of women at the political level.
Leslie McDonald (Canada)
The Honorary President of the International Triathlon Union (ITU), has changed and driven the gender policy within his sport. In 1975, after his daughter was denied entry to a race, Leslie McDonald created a 10km race in Vancouver exclusively for women. He established the first triathlon in Canada to have equal rewards for men and women, which is a fundamental principle of the ITU today; he established a minimum of 50 per cent of women on regional and national triathlon bodies; and, as President of the ITU, he introduced the principle of 20 per cent of women on the executive board, which also has to be respected by national federations.
Yuko Arimori (Japan)
She was the first Japanese woman to win an Olympic track and field medal for 64 years when she finished second in the 1992 marathon, won bronze four years later, and since then has campaigned ceaselessly for women in sport. She is the founder and director of Hearts of Gold, an NGO that assists victims of disasters and helps people in war-torn areas become self-sufficient. In this function, she helped women and people with disabilities to enter the Angkor Wat Marathon, Cambodia’s first international sports event; as a UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador, she promotes empowerment and gender equality throughout Asia; in Kenya, she opened a shelter for women fleeing genital mutilation and infant marriage; and, in Ethiopia, she has helped promote gender equality and HIV prevention. She is an IAAF Women’s Committee member and Japan Athletics Federation board member.
Grete Waitz (Norway)
Grete Waitz has set world records, won various marathons and an Olympic silver medal in 1984 in Los Angeles. Her contribution to women’s sport since those days has been no less impressive. She founded the Grete Waitz Run in Oslo for women and girls, and is Chairperson of the New York Road Runners Foundation, which facilitates physical activity and training for schoolgirls and boys. She is a renowned lecturer on women’s training, including programmes for cancer prevention. Her influence on Norwegian and international sport has contributed significantly to a change in society’s views on women in sport.
Susan Simcock (New Zealand)
Susan Simcock was the first woman to be elected President of the World Squash Federation and the first to be elected as a council member of the General Association of International Sports Federations, known today as SportAccord. She is also Chairperson of the Women and Sport Committee for the New Zealand National Olympic Committee. She led the mergers between women’s and men’s federations in international squash and New Zealand golf, ensuring gender balance at executive level. As President of the World Squash Federation, she oversaw support for the Brighton Declaration for Women. She has initiated several projects, including a study on gender balance in her own country, and developing guidelines to assist other national sports federations to improve gender balance on their boards.
About Olympic Day
Olympic Day was introduced in 1948 to commemorate the birth of the modern Olympic Games on 23 June 1894 at the Sorbonne in Paris. The goal was to promote participation in sport across the globe, regardless of age, gender or athletic ability. Over the last 20 years, Olympic Day has been associated with Olympic Day Runs all over the world. From 45 participating National Olympic Committees (NOCs) in the first edition in 1987, the numbers have grown to nearly 200 participating NOCs. What’s more, many of the participating NOCs are in Africa – proving the event’s worldwide appeal.
Over the past few years, Olympic Day has developed into much more than just a run or a sports event. Some countries have incorporated Olympic Day activities into the school curriculum. Others have added concerts and exhibitions to the sports activity. Athletes and Olympic champions are also active on Olympic Day to encourage people to take up sport, enjoy and excel. If you want to get active on Olympic Day, join us on Facebook and tell us what you do!
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