The International Olympic Committee has given its top award for women’s sport to a man for the first time. Ethiopian sports journalist Dagim Zinabu Tekle collected the IOC Women and Sport World Trophy, first presented in 2000, at a ceremony Monday in the IOC’s home city of Lausanne, Switzerland. The IOC praised Tekle for creating a radio show “dedicated to inspiring women and girls to be more active in sportand to pursue their goals and dreams.”
In five years of broadcasting three times each week, Tekle’s show “significantly raised awareness” of guests’ success, the IOC said.” This trophy is not only for women … It is for both men and women who work toward gender equity,” Tekle said in an IOC statement Monday. “I created this show because I realized that in Ethiopia, women have no voice, and they are not heard.”
The show, called the Lisan Women’s Sport Radio Program, also works to “help prevent women’s abuse by creating awareness of traditional harmful practices,” the IOC said.
The five continental awards were all won by women: Africa – Felicite Rwemarika (Rwanda); Americas – Carole Oglesby (United States); Asia – Maria Leonor Estampador (Philippines); Europe – Majken Gilmartin (Denmark); Oceania – Moya Dodd (Australia).
Dodd has had the highest profile of the winners, as a co-opted member and progressive voice on the FIFA executive committee from 2013 to 2016. She will stand for election in February as a women’s delegate representing Asia on the FIFA ruling board.
Gilmartin founded the United Nations Global Goals Cup tournament, and also runs a not-for-profit company with links in New York promoting lighter and smaller balls for girls’ soccer designed to reduce concussion and knee injuries.
Oglesby, a former longtime academic at Temple University in Philadelphia, is president of the Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women.
Rwemarika helped found the national women’s team in Rwanda, and has a long track record using soccer in education, health and business programs to help women in the war-torn country.
Estampador was the Philippines’ first female national fencing coach, and now works as administrative manager for the Asian Fencing Confederation.