(ATR) The IOC recognized six women Thursday for their athletic achievements and their work in promoting women’s sport.
Tegla Loroupe’s peace races have attracted thousands of people from Sudan, Kenya, Uganda and other African countries. (Getty Images)
At the IOC headquarters in Lausanne, six women, five from each continent and one representing the world, received Women and Sport Awards. The awards are given annually on June 23, Olympic Day.
“The 2011 IOC Women and Sport Award winners have all made a significant difference to the involvement of women and girls in sport by using the Olympic Movement’s concepts of mutual respect and pursuit of excellence,” said Anita DeFrantz, IOC member and chair of the IOC Women and Sport Commission.
Kenyan Olympian Tegla Loroupe was awarded the world trophy.
Loroupe is the founder and president of the Tegla Loroupe Foundation, which works to reduce poverty and conflicts through sports. She has organized a number of races for conflict-ridden communities where women are encouraged to participate and earn cash prizes.
Nadouvi Body, the first female president of Togo’s basketball federation, was named the winner for Africa. Body created a basketball tournament for women, using the event to train female coaches and referees.
For the Americas, The Women and Sport Commission of the Ecuadorian Olympic Committee was honored for their efforts in bringing women into the national sports infrastructure, including organizing courses in coaching.
Marisol Casado with her 2010 Women and Sport award. (ATR)
The Jordanian high jumper and handball player Narin Hajtass was given the award for Asia. As a member of the National Coaching Certification Programme, Hajtass has worked to increase the number of female coaches.
Former swimmer Sema Kasapoglu from Turkey was awarded the trophy for Europe for her project
that takes young girls and pairs them with coaches who provide free lessons. She also organizes football tournaments and training sessions for young girls.
Lastly, the former track and field and hockey athlete from Australia Daphne Pirie was named the winner for Oceania. Pirie has supported women’s sports in the country and is the founding president of Queensland Womensport.
IOC president Jacques Rogge noted that the participation of women in the Olympics has almost doubled in the last 30 years from 23 percent at the 1984 Los Angeles Games to 43 percent at the 2008 Beijing Games.
With the addition of women’s boxing, the 2012 Summer Olympic Games will be the first time women are competing in every sport.
Munich 2018 Kicks Off Weeks of Olympic Day Festivities
Munich 2018 is celebrating Olympic Day by focusing on athletics for young people.
More than 2,000 young athletes from around Germany are expected to attend the Youth Sports Festival. (Munich 2018)
The bid committee kicked off weeks of Olympic Day festivities today with the Youth Sports Festival in Burghausen in southern Germany, which will bring together 2000 young athletes for four days of activities.
“Munich 2018 is a bid for the athletes of tomorrow. For 100 years, the youth of the world has been at the very core of the Olympic Movement. To motivate kids and young people to participate in sports will remain one of the central challenges in our future,” said Bernhard Schwank, CEO of Munich 2018.
In a statement, the bid said the celebrations will “give an insight into how Munich 2018 intends to fulfil one of its most ambitious pledges to the Olympic Movement: reigniting the passion for the Winter Games in an entire generation of young people.”
Written by Ann Cantrell.
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