Winning artwork chosen to accompany 2019 Women's Leadership Award prize

2017 Women's Leadership Award recipient Nijole Medvedeva and European Athletics Vice President Jean Gracia
Eirik Førde / NFIF

2017 Women's Leadership Award recipient Nijole Medvedeva receives her award and artwork from European Athletics Vice President Jean Gracia at the 2017 Golden Tracks in Vilnius

The winning piece of artwork which will be presented to all Women’s Leadership Award winners this year has been declared.

There were almost 50 entries which were submitted from across European Athletics’ 51 Member Federations and after much deliberation and scrutiny, the European Athletics-appointed jury gave the verdict to Lia Cucuianu’s exceptional entry. 

Lia, who lives in Cluj-Napoca in Romania, produced a drawing of American sprinter Florence Griffith-Joyner who won three Olympic titles in 1988 and still holds the world records in the 100m and 200m. Lia drew inspiration from her days as a former athlete and in particular her sheer enjoyment of being part of the relay team. 


“When my friend tagged me in the post about the contest, I thought it was a really cool idea because it reminded me of the years I used to run track as a teenager,” she said. “It was an amazing time. I loved the training, the competitions and I even made it onto the podium a few times. However, the only times I won gold was with the relay team and this was my favourite event of all. 

“Since the subject was winning and celebration, I decided to illustrate that in the drawing. The process was really fun because it made me revisit those times, and remember those feelings which became my inspiration for it.” 

The winning entry will be professionally reproduced and added to the certificate that will be presented to all Women’s Leadership Award recipients. The first recipients will be celebrated at the Golden Tracks award ceremony in Tallinn, Estonia on Saturday 26 October.

The creator of the winning entry will also receive a commission of 1000 Swiss francs for their efforts.

More information on the Women’s Leadership Awards:

The biennial European Athletics Women’s Leadership Awards was created in 2009 to recognise and celebrate exceptional women leaders in athletics.

Each European Athletics Member Federations is asked to identify one winner for her work and accomplishments as a coach, or volunteer, or administrator, or elected official - anything other than for success in competition. 

The main criterion is “a significant contribution that serves as an example of leadership and other values of the sport of athletics.”

In 2017, 19 women representing 19 Member Federations were presented with Women’s Leadership Awards for their exceptional and committed service to athletics.