Anita DeFrantz, one of the two American members of the International Olympic Committee, was named Wednesday as the new president of the foundation responsible for distributing the $90-million Southern California share of the 1984 Olympic surplus.
DeFrantz, 34, a ranking member of the Amateur Athletic Foundation staff since it was set up after the Olympics, last year became the first black elected to the IOC from a country that is not predominantly black. IOC memberships are essentially lifetime appointments.
She was a bronze medalist as an American rower at the 1976 Montreal Olympics, a staff member with responsibility for the USC Olympic Village on the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee and a leader of U.S. Olympians opposed to the Carter Administration's boycott of the 1980 Moscow Games.
Succeeds Stanton Wheeler
DeFrantz, an attorney, succeeds Stanton Wheeler, who resigned after two years to return to a law professorship at Yale University.
The foundation that she will head has been responsible for about $14 million in grants and programs benefitting youth sports in Southern California and a $2-million one-time grant to support cultural activities. As a result of various investments of funds and interest income, the foundation's principal remains intact.
Its board of directors also approved a long-range plan Wednesday that calls for the foundation to spend its grant funds by 2004, 20 years after the Los Angeles Games. The foundation is expected to continue after that date to operate a sports resource center it is preparing to build.
The board--which includes Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley, former Los Angeles Olympic president and baseball commissioner Peter V. Ueberroth, attorneys Paul Ziffren and John Argue and U.S. Circuit Court Judge Stephen Reinhardt--also approved 29 more grants, totaling $2,268,411, and six additional foundation programs valued at close to $1 million.
DeFrantz has been particularly associated with a foundation program of presenting coaches' clinics to train hundreds of paid and volunteer coaches in this area to deal better, psychologically and on technical aspects of sports, with the youngsters under their tutelage.
After the unanimous vote selecting her, DeFrantz said: "I'm especially proud that this foundation has taken the step of appointing a black woman who started out as an athlete and learned about sport on a very personal basis."
She said she believes that the foundation "has a great deal of unrealized potential, and we hope to include the entire community in understanding better what sport has to offer."
Wheeler said: "I am absolutely delighted by the choice of my successor. Anita DeFrantz knows every aspect of the foundation's operations. She will work effectively with the staff and the board, and she brings to the foundation great stature as a woman, as an athlete and as a leader in the world of sport."
Board members said her salary as foundation president has not yet been set. Wheeler, they noted, had served under two one-year contracts.