One of America’s greatest female swimmers of all time, Donna de Varona, will be the featured guest on A Mick A Mook and A Mic on March 16th.
At the age of 17, Donna appeared on ABC’s Wide World of Sports, becoming the youngest and one of the first women sportscasters for a national network. Her groundbreaking career has earned her an Emmy, two Gracies, and the opportunity to cover a wide variety of sports events including 17 winter and summer Olympic games.
In 1969 de Varona was inducted to the International Swimming Hall of Fame as an “Honor Swimmer.” In 2003, she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, New York.And in 2006, she was inducted into the Museum of Television & Radio’s first class of fifty “She Made It” pioneers in media.
Donna has also served as an activist for sports and fitness opportunities for America’s youth. Since her retirement from competitions in 1965, she has served five terms on the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports and has been appointed to Presidential Commissions under presidents Ford, Carter, Reagan, Clinton, and Bush.
A consultant to the United States Senate, de Varona took a leave of absence from her pioneering television career to help with the passage of the 1978 Amateur Sports Act, which restructured how Olympic sports are governed in the United States.
A promoter of women in sport, Donna joined Billie Jean King, in the mid-70s, establishing the Women’s Sports Foundation. She served as its first President (1979–1984) and subsequently, became the chairman and Honorary Trustee for the Foundation. Under de Varona’s leadership, the Women’s Sport Foundation initiated the Hall of Fame Dinner (now the Annual Salute to Women in Sports Awards Dinner). Over the years, the Foundation has raised more than $30 million to support its programs.
Donna’s professional and personal contributions as an athlete, sportscaster and an activist are vast and extremely impressive – and her appearance on A Mick A Mook and A Mic is a must see.