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Flor Isava-Fonseca

Biographical information

TypeIOC member
SexFemale
Full nameFlor•Isava-Fonseca
Used nameFlor•Isava-Fonseca
Born20 May 1921 in Caracas (VEN)
Died25 July 2020 in Caracas (VEN)
NOC Venezuela

Biography

Although she never competed at the Olympics Flor Isava-Fonseca was a national champion in equestrian (12 times, 7 in jumping, 5 in dressage), and also in tennis (twice) and golf (once). She won a silver medal in tennis at the 1946 Central American and Caribbean Games. Her primary importance on the IOC was that she was one of the first two female members of the committee, along with Finland’s Pirjo Wilmi-Häggman.

Isava-Fonseca studied languages in school, earning a masters’ degree, and was fluent in Spanish, French, Italian, and English. Her career started as an author and journalist but she later was the founder and director of the National Campaign for Sports, and also started and served as President of the eponymously named Flor Isava Foundation for Education and Sport for Male and Female Prisoners, which she formed in 1990.

In sports administration Isava-Fonseca was the founder (1947) and President of the Venezuelan Equestrian Federation (1962-65); founded the show jumping championship of the Ladies Riding Association in 1963; was a member of the Venezuelan NOC from 1964-68; served as President of the Sports Confederation of Venezuela (1977-81); and was a sports advisor to the President of the Republic (1989-95).

She was made an IOC Member in 1981, as was Wilmi-Häggman, and served on the IOC through 2002, after which she was made an Honorary Member. During her tenure she served on the Executive Board from 1990-94, and was a member of the following IOC Commissions – International Olympic Academy and Olympic Education (1981-91), Olympic Movement (1991-94), Centennial Olympic Congress (1994-96), and Women and Sport (1995-2001). For her varied and outstanding career, Isava-Fonseca received numerous awards from the state of Venezuela and foreign nations, earning the Order of the Grand Cross of Sport, Ministry of Education from Chinese Taipei (1984); Order of the Liberator from Venezuela (1990); Order of the Star of Carabobo from the Commandant-General of the Army (1990); Order of Civil Merit from Spain (1992); Order of Work Merit, Ministry of Labour from Venezuela (1993); Knight of the National Order of the Legion of Honour from France (2001); and she received the Olympic Order in 2002.

Organization roles

Role Organization Tenure NOC As
Member International Olympic Committee 1981—2002 VEN Flor Isava-Fonseca
Executive Board Member International Olympic Committee 1990—1994 VEN Flor Isava-Fonseca
Honorary International Olympic Committee 2002—2020 VEN Flor Isava-Fonseca

Olympic family relations

Special Notes