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IOC'S ANITA DEFRANZ ONE TO KEEP YOUR EYE ON?
Published June 28, 1996
Anita DeFranz, one of the two U.S. members on the IOC, has "become one of the Olympic movement's more influential members," according to a front page WALL STREET JOURNAL piece by Emory Thompson. DeFranz is the "only woman on the 11-member IOC Executive Board ... and the first black woman ever elected to it." The JOURNAL's Thompson notes "now, her name even surfaces in backroom discussions about the committee's top job." DeFranz is President of the Amateur Athletic Foundation and under her leadership the group awards over 700 grants totaling nearly $32M to youth sports programs. But DeFranz has "drawn criticism" early in her IOC tenure, as her "direct style did not sit well with all IOC members." IOC Exec Board Member Richard Pound, said DeFranz is "learning" to be "more politically sensitive." But "her backing clearly counts within the Olympic movement," as many suggest DeFranz's influence "had much to do with" the '94 selection of the only other U.S. member on the IOC Jim Easton. Donna Lopiano, Exec Dir of the Women's Sports Foundation: "It's incredible that many don't see what a force she is. But you can't find her fingerprints unless you look very carefully" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 6/28).