First Female VP of the International Olympic Committee on Breaking the Glass Ceiling

Anita DeFrantz is a name for the history books and one that will always be associated with the Olympics. Besides winning silver and bronze medals in rowing, DeFrantz served as chief administrator of the Olympic Village, was the first African-American elected to the International Olympic Committee (in 1986) and became the organization’s first female vice president, a position she held from 1997 to 2001. Today, DeFrantz is president of the LA84 Foundation and is still a member of the IOC. In the edited version of our interview with her below, she shares what keeps her motivated

by Ilyssa Panitz • Celebrity Reporter
anita defrantz image
Photograph: LA84 Foundation

More: How has age worked in your favor in terms of what you are doing right now to change lives?
ADF: I have been over 35 for some time now, and I honestly feel I have not aged a day past 17 [laughs]. Seriously, I am more mature, I know more and I have seen more. I appreciate what I have learned along the way and the experiences I have gone through. Now it is all about taking the next step.

More: You are a former Olympic athlete and medal winner. What qualities from your training and competing have carried over to your later life?
ADF: Having the understanding of why it is important to be part of a team, and knowing that with determination, nothing can stop you from achieving your dreams.

More: What accomplishment are you most proud of?
ADF: Being able to help people makes me happy.

More: If Hollywood wanted to make a movie about your life, name the actress you would love to see fill your shoes.
ADF: I will tell you something: I often get mistaken for Queen Latifah.

More: She is an accomplished actress and recording artist. Nice compliment.
ADF: What about me? I haven’t tried my chops at acting. Maybe I can play myself? [Laughs.]

Click here to read Summer Sanders: Let the Summer 2012 Olympics Begin!

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