L.A. Now

Anita DeFrantz to step down as president of LA84 Foundation after 28 years

Anita DeFrantz also led rowing team in 1976 Olympics and opposed boycott of 1980 Games

Anita DeFrantz, one of the more influential women in sports in the last three decades, will step down from her post as president of the LA84 Foundation.

The organization, through board Chairman Frank Sanchez, will announce Monday that DeFrantz, 62, will step down from her foundation position as soon as a replacement is found, or, at the latest, by the end of 2015.

The LA84 Foundation represents the legacy of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. By agreement with the International Olympic Committee and the L.A. Organizing Committee, 40% of any surplus from the '84 Games would go back into the community to serve its youth through sports.

That 40% of Peter Ueberroth's highly successful Olympics generated a $93 million endowment for the Foundation, led for the last 28 years by DeFrantz. That $93 million is now $160 million, and that's after more than $225 million has been distributed to nearly 2,200 youth sports organizations.

DeFrantz said Saturday that, though the presidency of the LA84 Foundation was "the best job in the world," she will be looking for new horizons and is by no means retiring.

"That's never been my way," she said.

DeFrantz was the captain of the women's eight rowing team that won a bronze medal in the 1976 Montreal Olympics. She was a member of the 1980 U.S. Olympic team that was deprived of competing in Moscow when President Jimmy Carter asked the team to boycott the Games. DeFrantz was the most outspoken athlete to take a stand against that decision and brought worldwide attention to the U.S. athletes' plight with her public opposition to the boycott.

During the '84 Games, she ran the athletes' village at USC, and in 1986, she was elected to the IOC, where she later became the first female vice president of its Executive Committee. She is now serving a second term on the IOC Executive Committee.

The IOC currently has 101 members. Of those, 19 are women, still short of the internal legislation that a DeFrantz-led group pushed through a few years ago that calls for at least 20% of the membership be female.

"I've been president [of LA84] for 28 years," DeFrantz said. "A lot of wonderful things have happened, a lot of things I'm very proud of. But now it is time for somebody else to take the reins."

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