The International Olympic Committee (IOC) today honoured six women for their outstanding contributions to the development of women’s participation in sport and sports administration, during a ceremony for the 2013 IOC Women and Sport Awards in Lausanne.
The IOC Trophy for Asia was awarded to Ms Boossaba Yodbangtoey (THA).
Ms Yodbangtoey has been active in women’s weightlifting in Thailand for the past two decades. A former governor of one of the country’s provinces, Ms Yodbangtoey is now President of the Thai Weightlifting Association. She has established a weightlifting centre for girls and women and, with her guidance, Thai women’s weightlifting has risen in the world rankings. Weightlifting in Thailand has also opened new opportunities for talented girls from the country’s poorer areas, with good coaching and excellent facilities provided to female weightlifters of all ages. By offering education opportunities to women weightlifters, Ms Yodbangtoey has also contributed to opening leadership positions within the Thai Weightlifting Association.
IOC President Jacques Rogge said at the ceremony: “The Olympic Movement has been at the forefront of efforts to encourage the participation of women in sport for several years now.” He added: “We have made great progress towards equality on the field of play, but we have much more to do to boost the number of women coaches and sports administrators. Tonight’s award-winners all serve as true role models in the pursuit of this important goal.”
Anita DeFrantz, Chairwoman of the IOC Women and Sport Commission said: “The remarkable women we are honouring tonight come from varied backgrounds, speak different languages and have made their mark on sport and society in different ways. But all are committed to the belief that the practice of sport is a human right that cannot be denied on the basis of gender, race, religion, ethnicity or sexual preference. The International Olympic Committee shares that commitment, as defined in the Olympic Charter.”
Dr. Nat Indrapana (THA), IOC Member said: „Women in Thailand have more opportunities to succeed in Weightlifting, and the efforts as well as devotion of Ms Boosaba contribute to promote equal rights. This recognition is a great achievement for the country and for Women’s Weightlifting”.
The winners were selected by the IOC Women and Sport Commission from a pool of 49 nominees. The applicants were submitted by National Olympic Committees (NOCs), Continental Associations and International Federations.
Congratulations to Ms Boossaba Yodbangtoey and all winners!