The ITU Women’s Committee will be hosting a luncheon on Thursday, Sept. 17, to discuss women in triathlon and the positive impact sport has on women, with U.S. Olympic gold medalist Donna de Varona as the keynote speaker.
Scheduled from 12-2 p.m. CT on Sept. 17, the luncheon will take place at the Congress Plaza Hotel (520 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago) in the Florentine Room. Tickets are $30 and are available through Sept. 10 at active.com.
Keynote speaker de Varona is the President of DAMAR Inc., a sports marketing, production and consulting company. She is a double U.S. Olympic gold medalist and former world record holder in swimming. Though she retired from her sport at age 17, she established more than 18 world records and fastest times, competed in two Olympic Games and was voted the most outstanding female athlete in the world in 1964-65.
Internationally, de Varona is recognized for her work as an Emmy Award winning news and sports journalist having covered 17 Olympic Games. In 1999, de Varona served as chairwoman of the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the most successful women’s sporting event of that time. She continues to work with many NGOs and served on the Executive Board of the LA2015 Special Olympics Global Games Organizing Committee. This year she served as the lead advisor in creating the International Women Athletes Business Network.
De Varona has served on the United States Olympic Committee Board and Foundation; the United States Soccer Foundation; the International Special Olympics Executive Board and is an Advisor to the U.S. Department of State Empowering Women through sport program. She is a member of the Seneca Falls Women’s Hall of Fame, the USOC Hall of Fame and the International Swimming Hall of Fame, and has earned five honorary doctorates and is a graduate of UCLA.
As a presidential appointee and U.S. Senate consultant through her focus on Title IX and the Ted Stevens Olympic and Paralympic Sports Act, de Varona has profoundly changed both the educational and athletic landscape for females around the globe. Additionally, as the founding president of the Women’s Sports Foundation, the impact of her work continues to this day. Currently she is the lead advisor to the EY Women’s athletes network, a global initiative to help women athletes transition from competitive sport to other professions.
The ITU Women’s Committee luncheon is part of the annual meeting held by the committee at the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final to discuss the future of women in the sport of triathlon. The ITU Women’s Committee ensures equality of opportunity, recognition and reward for women in multisport, and creates policies on the development of women in all sport activities.
The ITU Women’s Committee luncheon is one of many activities taking part in Chicago for the 2015 ITU World Triathlon Grand Final, with events scheduled at Grant Park from Sept. 15-19. Visit chicago.triathlon.org for more information on the 2015 ITU World Triathlon Grand Final and World Championships.