June 1, 2017

Dear Members: 

The month of May comes to an end, and we have our first 90kg National Champion Ali Ludwig (Waxman's Gym, Lawndale, CA) and our first National Championship featuring an equal number of female weight categories. Our yearly showcase took place in Chicago this year and it was a pleasure to be able to display our IWF Youth World Championship trophies at the competition and to witness Jessica Lucero (Catalyst Athletics, Tustin, California) as well as Mattie Rogers (Florida Elite, Orlando, Florida) extend their own American Records. The progress we are seeing in our female athlete membership is remarkable. Many of our National Champions moved onto represent Team USA at the 2017 Pan American Championships in Miami, Florida this July you can see who made the team here.

Speaking of firsts for a female, our fellow IWF National Federations entrusted our Board Chair, Ursula Garza Papandrea, with the position of IWF Vice President. Ursula is the first female to hold the post of Vice President, and sees the United States return to the Executive Board. USA Weightlifting Technical Director, Pyrros Dimas, was also re-elected to the Executive Board with 104 votes, thhighest of any candidate. I'd also like to take this opportunity to congratulate Dr. Tamas Ajan on his successful re-election as President of the IWF. Dr. Kyle Pierce was not only re-elected to the IWF Coaching & Research Committee but also was awarded the Gold Service Medal for his decades of work in Weightlifting worldwide. Our congratulations to Dr. Mark Lavallee who was elected to the IWF Medical Committee. It was a sign of the progress we are making in International Weightlifting that the USA was elected to so many positions by our fellow member federations. Not only that, but of course that we will host the 2017 IWF World Championships later this year. The newly elected IWF Executive Board will meet for the first time in June in Tokyo, Japan – at that time Anaheim, California will once again be a candidate for a major international competition. Ursula was also invited this month to be a special guest at the 2017 Islamic Solidarity Games, while we were both guests of Executive Board member, Maxim Agapitov of Russia to see how the progress of reform in Russia is coming along. Read more about our visit to Russia here. 

At the beginning of May, our Pan American Junior team competed in Ecuador. The USA had a very successful competition highlighted by a 183kg American Junior Record for Jourdan Delacruz (Power and Grace Performance, Wylie TX) and a Gold medal for +105kg Ryan Sennett (Northern Michigan University, Marquette MI). Our team moves onto the IWF Junior World Championship later this month in Tokyo, Japan. Good luck Team USA!

Also in May, Pyrros Dimas and Mike Gattone began making their first visits to gyms around the country to assist with providing services to our athletes and coaches in our decentralized model. The pair visited with California Strength, Hassle Free Barbell, Myles Ahead Weightlifting and Alpha Strength and Conditioning, seeing a dozen or so Team USA lifters during the West Coast swing.

New coaching education content was published to our instructor population by our Coaching Education Manager, Tamas Feher, and we are rolling that out later this month. More on that to come but I want to thank Tamas for his several months evaluating our education program and redefining it for the quad ahead.

Away from the competition platform, we continued to make an effort to expose our sport to others, led by Suzy Sanchez, our development camps continue to pick up steam and we also visited with more USA Wrestling regionals as well as the CrossFit Games regionals. We have an exciting partnership coming through this month to assist with our drive to expose the sport to more people. We need everyone to help to this, so make sure to continue to spread the word, bring your friends to the gym and spread the word of the sport.

Speaking of which, you may have noticed the IWF agreed to a 3-year agreement regarding television rights for the World Championships in the coming quadrennial. This is excellent news for the USA since it means that we will see TV coverage not only for the Worlds in 2017 but in 2018 and 2019 also.

This month we have also welcomed Kill Cliff as a sponsor, we appreciate the partnership given by our growing number of partners.