Hi, I’m Anita DeFrantz, Olympic Champion, Vice President of the International Olympic Committee, author, civil rights lawyer, and professional speaker. Ask me anything about the Olympics, professional sports, rowing, and athletes’ civil rights iss...
I started my athletic career as a collegiate rower, then later went on to captain the first U.S. women’s rowing team in history: who competed at the 1976 Montreal Olympics and won the Bronze medal. Then, four years later, I became embroiled in an international scandal when, as a newly minted attorney, I challenged President Jimmy Carter’s boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympic games. The boycott, driven by political ambitions, served to threaten the rights of U.S. athletes to compete in the apolitical Games; an event where thousands of American athletes dedicated half of their lives to training for.
Nearly half a decade later, I was honored to be invited to join the International Olympic Committee, or IOC (the international organization founded to run the Olympics), as the first African American woman to serve as Vice President. As a ranking officer of the IOC, I then dedicated my life to spreading the spirit of the Olympics throughout the world, and to unite the many peoples of the countries participating. However, my tenure at the IOC has not always been one devoid of controversy. In 2016, I lead the charge and investigation into a global conspiracy to defraud the Olympics via government sponsored drug doping programs. The conspiracy involved many high ranking politicians, influential sports figures, and members of the medical community: needless to say, it was one moment in the history of the Olympics that threatened to destroy it as an institution forever.
In addition to the aforementioned topics, ask me anything about thinking like an Olympic Champion: tips and strategies that I have used throughout my life to turn incredible challenges into victories and success. I would love to share these with you as well!
So, without further ado, I look forward to your questions.
***FINAL EDIT: Thank you again to everyone who participated in the AMA! I've tried to answer a mix of different types of questions, from informational to critical. If I didn't have a chance to answer yours, I invite you to join me on my Facebook page linked above, or join my newsletter (link at bottom of my website) to keep in touch. I do plan to do other live events and AMAs in the very near future. Again, thanks for being a great audience and thank you for your support of the Olympic Movement!
***EDIT 2: Great session again today! Also had the chance to answer some of the serious questions that you told me were quite pressing. Please click "view more replies" because some of my answers are toward the bottom of the threads. I apologize once again for a being a bit slow to answer, as the volume of questions, and their complexity, are a welcoming challenge. I am going to be coming back briefly tonight to wrap up some last minute questions.
***EDIT: Thank you for your questions! Have to get offline for now, but I will be returning again tomorrow, Monday at 10AM PST to answer more questions. In the interim, feel free to post new questions in the meantime and I'll do my best to address them tomorrow. Thank you!