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Donna DeVarona  

In 1964, Donna deVarona won two gold medals at the Tokyo Olympics. During her swimming career, she held 18 world records and 33 national records in all strokes.

Her contribution to the sports world didn't end with her retirement as an athlete. In fact, it was her swimming career and candid personality that opened the doors of success for her in the business world, and paved the way for her outstanding contributions to the sports. Her career in broadcasting journalism is astounding. At age 17, she became the first woman to cover sports on network television for "ABC's Wide World of Sports." From there, Donna de Varona covered the 1968, 1972, 1976 and 1984 Olympic Games, for ABC Sports as well as co-anchoring the late-night wrap-up at the Los Angeles Olympics. Donna joined ABC's Eyewitness News in New York and then NBC Sports and the Today Show. She is currently Vice President of ABC Sports.Donna's talents stretch to the field of sports administration, too. In 1977, she became a special consultant to the U.S. Senate and major contributor to the passage of Title IX Legislation calling for equal sports opportunities for women. As founding member and President of the Women's Sports foundation, Donna lobbied for equal rights for women athletes. She has served on special commissions for Presidents Ford, Carter and Reagan, as well as various International Olympic committees and congresses.

The NCAA Honors Committee recently awarded her the 2003 Theodore Roosevelt Award, the highest honor the NCAA bestows on an individual. She was the 2002 recipient of the Overcoming Obstacle Award from the Community for Education Foundation, which is presented to leaders who have risen to the pinnacles of their careers and provide inspiration for everybody. In 1999, Sports Illustrated for Women ranked her on their list of the Top 100 Greatest Athletes (No. 82).

She is the former chair of the United States Olympic Committee's Public Relations and Information Committee. In 1996, de Varona received the Women's Sports Foundation's prestigious Flo Hyman Memorial Award and was inducted into the International Women's Sports Hall of Fame in 1983. de Varona is currently the chair of the Women's Sports Foundation's board of stewards and has previously served on the board of trustees as the chair and as an honorary trustee for the Foundation. (02/03)

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