During the 133rd regular session of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that took place in the Buenos Aires on October 8-9, 2018, the President of the Lithuanian National Olympic Committee Daina Gudzinevičiūtė was elected a member of the IOC. She became the first Lithuanian representative to be entrusted with such duties.
Some of the most important powers that IOC Members exercise are as follows: electing the organization’s President, vice presidents and members of the Executive Committee, changing the Olympic Charter, choosing capitals for the future Games, approving annual IOC reports and budget, accepting new national committees or other sports organizations into the IOC, promoting and nurturing Olympic values in their own countries.
D. Gudzinvičiūtė exercised her duties as the IOC member right there in Buenos Aires, where she presented awards to champions and prize winners of Youth Olympic Games.
Daina Gudzinevičiūtė, who is a member of the Executive Committee of the European Olympic Committees Association (EOC), also works in the IOC Athletes’ Entourage Commission. The Chair of this Commission is the legendary Ukrainian pole vaulter Sergey Bubka, among the 36 members of the Commission also are Russian Olympic Champion Jelena Isinbajeva, Moroccan Hicham El Guerrouj, Romanian gymnast Nadia Comăneci, and other famous athletes and representatives of sports organizations.
“I am extremely thankful to the International Olympic Committee and its President Thomas Bach for their trust and acknowledgment. I want to point out that although I became an individual IOC member, I represent Lithuania and this achievement is not my personal merit, it is the acknowledgment of our whole team. It proves again that even a small team which works with passion and devotion can achieve a lot and become visible in the world”, said D. Gudzinevičiūtė after the election.
The Sydney Olympic shooting champion Daina Gudzinevičiūtė was acknowledged for her contribution in fighting for gender equality in sports, for representing the interests of our country’s athletes when discussing important topics, and for her active participation in the Olympic Movement.
IOC award “Women and Sport”
Daina Gudzinevičiūtė received the prestigious award “Women and Sport” from the International Olympic Committee for her activities in seeking gender equality in sport. On October 5, the award was presented to the LNOC President by the President of the International Triathlon Union Marisol Casado. The award ceremony was held during the first-ever IOC forum “Olympism in Action” and took place on the eve of the third Youth Summer Olympic games.
The LNOC President’s candidacy for receiving the award “Women and Sport” was proposed by the European Olympic Committees Association (EOC). Since 2014 D. Gudzinevičiūtė has been Chair of this organization’s Gender Equality in Sport Commission. Also, she is the member of the EOC Executive Committee (for the second term).
The LNOC, led by D. Gudzinevičiūtė, devotes a lot of attention to promoting gender equality in sport. Since 2014, qualification courses and various other projects for women have been organized in Lithuania. The LNOC cooperates closely with the European Institute for Gender Equality. In October 2017, the first IOC forum “Advancing Women in Leadership Roles” was held in Vilnius. It was attended by the IOC President Thomas Bach who delivered a speech.
Each year six awards “Women and Sport” are given away – 5 for representatives of each continent and 1 global award. This prize can be won not only by individual women and men, but also by organizations. In 2013, the European award “Women and Sport” was won by the then head of the Lithuanian Sports Center for Pupils and Students Ona Babonienė. Diplomas “Women and Sport” have also been awarded to other representatives of our country: Birutė Kalėdienė, Angelė Rupšienė, Liucija Kalvaitienė, and Roma Grinbergienė.