March 1, 2017


Dear Members:

February was an exciting month here at USA Weightlifting. We named our first international squads to represent the USA under our new selection system, and we also saw our first national event of the year this past weekend in Kansas City. Speaking of which, thank you to Anna Martin, Kansas City Weightlifting and everyone involved in a great competition. I have to take time to highlight Olympian Pete Kelley who was around all weekend loading the bar, officiating and commentating on the webcast.

CJ Cummings of course produced another showcase of excellence on the platform, but there was great lifting to be seen all over the place. I must take time to highlight Jay Koski who came out of nowhere with very little training in the sport to total 303kg. Further, it is so exciting to see the development of our Women. Perhaps there is no greater illustration of how far our sport has come than the 48kg category. In Megan Seegert, Hayley Reichardt and Shannon McNames, we have 3 junior athletes who are totaling more than 2016 Olympian Morghan King did at the same point in the last Olympic quad. We also have two senior athletes, Alyssa Ritchey and Kathleen Winters totaling more. This is great progress for our athletes. The dedication of both our athletes and coaches is second to none. We WILL begin to win overseas, it is within our sight and within our ability to do so.

Some of our new sponsors really brought their “A” game, none more so than Rogue Fitness. The team at Rogue showed up with bespoke equipment of excellent quality. They then walked around looking for ways to improve. Please give them your feedback, they want to work to make events the best they can. Thank you also to BarBend.com who produced an all-star list of commentators for the Webcast, while Zevia soda made sure everyone was hydrated throughout the competition.

After the conclusion of the Nike National Junior Championships powered by Rogue Fitness, the Team Selection Committee met and walked through various scenarios to ensure that we field the strongest Team USA we can in Ecuador at the Junior Pan Ams, Thailand at the World Youth Championships and Japan for the World Junior Championships. This year the World Youth Championships is particularly important since it qualifies our quotas for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Thank you Leo Totten (Coach Representative) and Allie Henry (Elite Athlete Representative) for your participating in that process.

Elsewhere, we had our independent financial audit occur. This is the earliest it has been for a few years, and we thank our auditors, Waugh and Goodwin, for doing that. This audit is essential to ensure we are using best management practices in managing the money you the members give us to manage on behalf of this sport. We hope to be able to post our audit results and 990 form within the next few weeks.

In the office, our membership continues to grow but we need YOUR help to continue to grow. Bring your friend to the gym, to a local or national meet. Expose them to the barbell and get them interested. We have experienced great growth in our sport but we need to continue to spread the word and grow the sport beyond our usual confines. Speaking of which, our new Growth Programs lead, Suzy Sanchez, starts in the office today. have an idea? Reach out at suzy.sanchez@usaweightlifting.org.

Another new employee is Mike Gattone. Mike was the strength coach of the NBA’s Chicago Bulls, the USOC’s Coaching Education Manager, an IWF executive board member, Competition Manager for the 1996 Olympic Games and most recently led the relationships with strength and conditioning at Gatorade. Mike’s role is to support our national teams and also to scout for elite athlete talent. Know an athlete you think could transition into Weightlifting? Reach out at mike.gattone@usaweightlifting.org.

Our new Coaching Education Manager, Tamas Feher, spent February visiting courses and instructors around the nation. He is almost finished with our new teaching material and this month we travel to see our star athletes Mattie Rogers (Apoka, FL) and CJ Cummings (Beaufort, SC) to shoot some new footage for our coaching manuals. We are also working with the USOC, USA Football and USA Track and Field for our new group. Look for a preview of that new material in the coming weeks.

Not got your certification yet – take a look at our calendar and enroll today! 

March brings the first American Open Series event in Reno, Nevada as well as the National Masters Championships in Savannah Georgia. Both competitions will be broadcast live and free here on www.usaweightlifting.org. Tune in and enjoy plenty of Weightlifting this month. If you are near either competition site, make sure to come along. It also brings the final registration deadline for the 2017 National University Championships and National Under 25 Championships at the University of Florida.

Meet directors will also see an improvement this month as we launch the ability to upload a spreadsheet of results into Webpoint. We keep trying to improve our membership system and it’s service to members. Thank you for the feedback you continue to give us in this area.

USA Weightlifting continues to try to improve our service to our members. As always, don’t hesitate to reach out personally at phil.andrews@usaweightlifting.org.

Phil Andrews
Phil.Andrews@USAWeightlifting.org