Dear Members,
 
Welcome to September, this month we will name the team that will attempt to end our 12 year medal drought at the IWF World Championships in Anaheim, USA this November. You can get your tickets for the Worlds here. Good luck to everyone competing in Grand Rapids this weekend at the 2017 Nike American Open Series 3 powered by Rogue Fitness!
 
In August, the FISU World University Games took place in Chinese Taipei. Team USA was represented by 16 individuals highlighted by a Snatch Junior American Record by Taylor Turner (58kg – St. Augustine, FL) of Northern Michigan University while other athletes, including Danielle Hudes (69kg – Seattle, WA) put up a PR total. Many of these athletes were in their first appearance for Team USA and we hope to see them move onto the Pan Am and World teams in the coming years. 

August didn’t have a national event, but nevertheless USA Weightlifting was hard at work. A critical meeting with the US Anti-Doping Agency and the IWF Anti-Doping Commission was held. This was the first time in memory that any IWF staff had visited Colorado Springs. The discussions over nearly 3 days of meetings were both interesting and exciting. From the individuals who attended there was a clear intent to ensure the future of our sport and take measures to rid ourselves of the cancerous doping issue that has threatened our sport’s participation in the Olympic Games program and frankly, it’s existence. I believe we will see some great progress on this matter both by the end of 2017 and on the road to Tokyo 2020.
 
Much of our attention is at this moment directed towards hosting the 2017 IWF World Championships in Anaheim. The Worlds are a key milestone not only for our athletes performance but also in the tasks our sport faces in its sports program, in marketing and for clean sport. We need your help to fill the stands and show the International Olympic Committee that our sport is thriving in the US.
 
Back at the office, we have begun to plan our 2018 programs and will have some exciting projects to share in the coming weeks and months from communication to membership to development to high performance. We have officially begun work on our bid to become an NCAA emerging sport for women and NAIA emerging sport, and this week there will be an opportunity for you to play a part in that project. We are also forging ahead with our partnership work with the NFHS. These programs need to be viewed as long term projects. 

Our performance team also presented to the US Olympic Committee, highlighting that we have 5 athletes within 9kg of an Olympic medal at this point, which gives us some opportunities to work towards in the 2020 Olympic Games, between now and the end of the year our team will be building significant support plans with those athletes to maximize our chances of success in Tokyo.
 
Our team is also on the recruiting path at the elite level, and recently visited with an athlete in Wisconsin who we hope to see soon on the national stage.

We published our 2018 Youth Olympic Games selection procedures. This document is essential reading if you are intending to compete at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games, and I encourage coaches, parents and athletes to read it as soon as possible.
 
I want to take a moment to remind all of our members that we pride ourselves in being a diverse and open organization. We welcome individuals of all backgrounds and professions to our organization and community. In this time of division in our country, it is refreshing to know that our Weightlifting family welcomes people from all walks of life. Thank you. 

Lastly, I am sorry to report that Jake Strack Loertscher is leaving USA Weightlifting to pursue a career in the electrical trade having joined us last summer from USA Taekwondo. Jake got us through a tough transition time with our events, worked hard and always treated our membership with respect. Thank you for your service, and good luck, Jake!

Yours in sport,

Phil Andrews
Phil.Andrews@USAWeightlifting.org