Flor Isava Fonesca, Olympic Rider & Official, Founder of Venezuelan Equestrian Federation, Dies at Age 99

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Flor Isava Fonseca of Venezuela — 1921-2020

July 27, 2020

Flor Isava Fonseca, Olympic jumper rider, trail-blazing Olympic official and founder of Venezuelan Equestrian Federation, has died at the age off 99.

Flor was a member of the Venezuelan Olympic equestrian team at the Olympics in 1956, was one of the first two women elected as IOC Members in 1981 and the first female member of the IOC Executive Board (EB), from 1990 to 1994.

Born in Caracas in 1921, she studied in France and Belgium and worked as a journalist and author. She returned to Venezuela in 1939 and devoted herself to tennis, equestrian sport, hockey and swimming, the sport in which she became the captain of the national team.

She was a national champion in equestrian and tennis, and won a silver medal in the latter at the Central American and Caribbean Games in Baranquilla, Colombia, in 1946. Later, at 48 years of age, she also took up golf.

In 1947, Isava Fonseca founded the Venezuelan Equestrian Federation, of which she was President from 1962 to 1965. She was a member of the National Olympic Committee from 1964 to 1968; president of the Sports Confederation of Venezuela from 1977 to 1981; and a sports advisor to the nation’s president from 1989 to 1995.