October 1, 2017

Dear Members,
 
The countdown is on to Anaheim 2017. We named our team after the American Open Series III in Grand Rapids, Michigan and what a team it is. Team USA looks set to end medal droughts of 12 and 20 years respectively in Anaheim. It’s time to get your tickets to see Team USA take on Iran, Thailand, DPR Korea, Germany, Republic of Korea, Colombia and of course, the original enemy, Her Majesty’s Great Britain this winter. You can get your tickets HERE.
 
This weekend at the International Weightlifting Federation Executive Board meeting in Bucharest, following a long legal fight at the Court of Arbitration for sport, the IWF took a stand against doping in our sport by upholding a one year ban of 9 nations who brought our sport into disrepute by their actions in previous Olympic Games. I applaud the Executive Board in this strong action for our sport. Recognizing some leadership in those nations is willing and is showing change, it is important to recognize that one must pay the price for the crimes committed against our sport. The IWF Executive Board has our trust and support as we try to retain our place in the Olympic Games.
 
However, we as a sport must stand together. Everyone in Weightlifting, in the United States and overseas, must do their upmost to help our sport stay in the Olympic Games. We must protect the dreams of the amazing 16 Women & Men who will lift in Anaheim for Team USA in their hopes to win an Olympic medal. We are improving and we are now coming to win, and nothing less, but to do so in the end we need to stay in the Olympic Games.
 
Coming to Anaheim gives a very important opportunity for you to show the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that Weightlifting is worth keeping on the Olympic program. Decisions on our sport, and the work done by the IWF Clean Sport Commission and IWF Sport Program Commission, will be taken during Anaheim 2017. We’ll have IOC members present at the event, including IOC Executive Board members. We need to ensure we show many people in the USA care about Weightlifting and pack that house.
 
Speaking of which, who is excited about the Olympic Games coming back to the USA? Los Angeles won the right to host the 2028 Olympic Games. We have the privilege of being the first World Championships of an Olympic Sport to come to the Los Angeles metro area since the award.
 
The IWF also took a decision to award the 2018 IWF Junior World Championships to Uzbekistan. This is a welcome step for USA Weightlifting and we are now able to go ahead and attend with a full team.
 
Team USA has come so far in the last four years that looking back at the 2013 World Team, only 1 member of each gender would actually make this year’s team. Although of course Jenny Arthur, Morghan King and Caine Wilkes are on both squads, and Donovan Ford who represented Team USA in 2013 only just missed out on the squad.
 
Grand Rapids, a lot of people asked, "Where? Grand What?" It turns out the competition had among the highest athlete and coach satisfaction ratings since we started recording these, and the highest in 2017. Like to extend a big thank you to 4 Star Strength and company who, together with USAW Senior Events Manager Pedro Meloni, and all of the Technical Officials, made the experience one our athletes said they’d like to see again. We’ll be back in Grand Rapids in 2018 for the Youth Olympic Games Trials and National Youth Championships.
 
Our Performance team visited with Team Sky, British Cycling and German Weightlifting this month. The team learned a great deal about how British Cycling broke through to the top of Cycling which faces similar issues to Weightlifting. In Germany, we learned about how the Germans progress their Weightlifters and how they maximize the impact of their team for Olympic qualification. We want to thank both Germany and Great Britain for their cooperation and partnership.
 
We are now looking ahead to 2018 when we will focus on trying to market the sport more heavily. We need your help to do that, since the number one way to grow the sport is by the people already in the sport. We’ll be in touch with more of our plans.

Yours in sport,

 

Phil Andrews
Phil.Andrews@USAWeightlifting.org