Olympic Person of the Month January 2023
Anne d’Ieteren is known for her outstanding achievements in both the Olympic and the Paralympic Movement in her native country Belgium.
D’Ieterens’s sports background is from equestrian sports (dressage) and she joined the Executive Board of the National Olympic Committee in 1985. In 2009 she became President of the Belgian Paralympic Committee, a mandate she held until April 2022, when she officially retired.
She enjoyed a successful career and was nominated for the Moscow 1980 Olympics. However, she could not compete after the Belgian Equestrian Federation joined the boycott of the Games initiated by the United States. For Los Angeles in 1984, she was shortlisted but did not get the opportunity to compete. Later, she continued developing Para-dressage in Belgium as a coach and national coach from 1997 to 2015. She led the team to six Paralympic gold medals and fifth place for Belgium at London 2012 and Rio 2016.
Within her three terms as President of the Belgian Paralympic Committee, d’Ieteren led the vision, professionalism and strategic roadmap which made possible the exponential growth of the Paralympic Movement in Belgium. Para athletes gained great support by being at the centre of various projects.
Bringing these aspects into the Paralympic Movement also turned into medal results for Belgium. At the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, Belgium won 15 medals, the country’s biggest medal haul since the Atlanta 1996 Paralympics. This result could be seen as an example of d’Ieteren’s impact on what she has achieved.
In 2020, she received the Order of Merit, the highest recognition of the Belgian Olympic and Interfederal Committee. The latest sign of recognition was the presentation of the first Belgian Paralympic Legacy Award, with which she was honoured by the President of the International Paralympic Committee, Andrew Parsons.
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