[Source: SportAccord] Olympic gymnastics legend Nadia Comăneci has been confirmed as a keynote speaker at this year’s inaugural Regional SportAccord Pan America in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in December.
Comăneci became an international superstar in 1976 when, aged just 14, she became the first athlete to score a perfect 10 at the Olympic Games on her way to a haul of three gold medals in Montreal. The Romanian would go on to win a total of five Olympic gold medals and was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 1996.
Since her retirement from competition she has enjoyed a successful career in coaching and business with her husband via the Oklahoma-based Bart Conner Gymnastics Academy. She is also an inspirational speaker and philanthropist, as well as the Honorary President of the Romanian Gymnastics Federation and Romanian Olympic Committee.
Comăneci, who has lived in the USA since the 1980s, will bring experiences garnered over four decades in both Europe and the Americas to a Fireside Chat that will kick off Day 3 of Regional SportAccord Pan America on Thursday, 12 December. Having forged a career in competition, coaching and administration, she will bring a unique perspective to a conference which has a theme of ‘A United Approach to the International Sport Landscape in the Americas’.
“I am tremendously excited to be taking part in the inaugural Regional SportAccord Pan America in Florida this December,” Comăneci says. “This is a golden opportunity for the sports sector from across the Americas to come together, exchange ideas and collaborate on the biggest issues affecting the events that we love.
“I am pleased to see that the protection of athletes and social responsibility are among the conference programme’s major themes and I look forward to sharing my own experiences of being a young athlete propelled on to the world stage. I want to talk about what federations and rights-holders can do to ensure the wellbeing of athletes.”
Comăneci is the latest major name from the world of sport to confirm their attendance at Regional SportAccord Pan America, which takes place at Greater Fort Lauderdale / Broward County Convention Center from 10-12 December 2019.
Raffaele Chiulli, President, SportAccord and GAISF will officially open the Regional SportAccord Pan America 2019 conference programme on Wednesday, 11 December. The tone of the conference will be set by a Keynote Address on The Changing Landscape of the International Sports World by Francesco Ricci Bitti, President, ASOIF (Association of Summer Olympic International Federations). Other confirmed high-profile speakers include Stephan Fox, President, AIMS (Alliance of Independent Recognised Members of Sport), Vice President, GAISF; Sarah Lewis OBE, Secretary General, AIOWF (Association of International Olympic Winter Sports Federations); and Andrew Ryan, Executive Director, ASOIF (Association of Summer Olympic International Federations).
Reflecting on Comăneci’s appearance, Raffaele Chiulli, President, SportAccord says: “We are honoured to welcome Nadia - one of the most celebrated athletes in the history of sport – to Regional SportAccord Pan America. Her ‘perfect 10’ in Montreal remains one of the Olympic Games’ most iconic moments more than four decades on.
“With her vast experience of elite competition, coaching and sports administration, as well as her extensive charity work in the Americas and around the world, her Fireside Chat will undoubtedly be one of the highlights of a compelling conference programme.”
Regional SportAccord Pan America 2019 will bring together the Pan American, Olympic and non-Olympic communities in one location, with the inaugural event set to attract sports commissions, regional, national and international governing bodies, sports ministries, rights-holders, cities and regions, commercial entities and agencies.
Registration is open for the event, hosted by SportAccord in partnership with Greater Fort Lauderdale, Florida Sports Foundation, International Sports & Health Associates and MGO. For information about becoming an Exhibitor or Partner, request a brochure or contact the sales team via firstname.lastname@example.org or +1 954 204 3081.
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