Larisa Kiss has been involved with international judo for many years. As Head of International Relations for the IJF, she has been a key person in the development of judo in many sectors including projects regarding the environment or gender equality. As International Women's Day was just celebrated in Linz on the occasion of the Upper Austria Grand Prix, she took the time to reflect on this important subject.

"I had many people who influenced me throughout my life. If I had to pick somebody, probably two of them stand out. One of them is my grandmother from Romania, who taught me simple things, the things of life. She lived close to nature and in harmony with it, understanding very well how it works and that we are part of it. I think that my interest in ecology and the environment comes from her.

The other person who had a great influence on me is Mr. Marius Vizer, IJF President. Working so many years close to him, I understood what it means to work and lead with a vision. He showed me that it's important to care for everyone we work with and that great results come from synergy. That too, taught me how important inclusion is, at every level.

Larisa Kiss

Throughout my career within the IJF, I have had a lot of opportunities to work with different people, with different roles and most of all, coming with their own culture and background. The amount of learnings and takeaways I’ve had from these experiences is purely mind-blowing. All of this has contributed greatly to the person I am today.

I do believe that we learn the most from people who are different from us and who are coming a different perspective. This is what opens new horizons both professionally and personally. And I really try to embrace inclusion in everything I do.

As we just celebrated International Women's Day in Austria and as I'm living in the country, I must say that Austrian women are not really used to have a big celebrationon this particular day. Here at the Upper Austria Grand Prix, I could feel that they enjoyed being part of our dedicated activities and being honored on this day. As the movement for gender equality, diversity and inclusion is growing, I believe that also this symbolic day is gaining more importance and exposure.

Larisa Kiss and Yvonne Snir-Bönisch, Head of the Austrian judo team

I am happy and grateful for the opportunity to work in an environment that is truly inclusive with people who want to work together for common goals and objectives."

See also