July 6, 2020

Happy July Members!

Firstly, I hope everyone had a great, and safe, 4th of July weekend celebrating our great nation.

As we enter a month we were supposed to be heading off to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, my thoughts immediately turn to those that were likely to be on that plane and the time they must now take to prepare for another year for Tokyo 2020ne. 

Happily, though, we will have the opportunity to celebrate 1 Year Out once again, in just three weeks time!

Speaking of the impacts of COVID-19, this month we will launch a fundraising campaign to drive money directly into the clubs across the nation to allow those clubs to have a continued national program without hitting their pockets at home, allowing those funds to be spent on the club itself. It's the first time we've ever gone out and raised money directly for our member clubs, thanks to a partnership with our friends at Snap Raise.

Away from fundraising, which we hope you will participate in and help our clubs around the nation continue to participate in our great sport, and related to national programs, we remain cautiously optimistic of the Las Vegas American Open Series 3 and Atlanta events going ahead at this time, with the precautions we previously published in place.

The federation will hold its quadrennial planning session next weekend as our board and a cross-section of our membership and committees look ahead to the 2020-2024 and 2024-2028 quads. It is worth remembering that as we enter August we actually are in two quadrennials at the same time since we must finish the 2020 Olympic quad and start our Road to Paris. 

Financially, our NGB has done better than most, albeit of course revenue is still significantly down year on year. We've kept our athlete stipend program fully funded, and we've also kept all of our staff employed which is something we are very proud of. We are not out of the woods yet, and there are major expenses looming in 2021 as we must fight two of almost every type of championship.

Meanwhile, thanks to ideas developed by our athlete community, we held our first-ever online selection camp for the University World Championships, Youth World Championships and Junior Pan American Championships recently online via Zoom. I am pleased to say it was a success, and although of course these events may still be affected by COVID-19 concerns, thanks to all athletes, coaches, technical officials and staff who participated.

There were several standout performances including Meghan Strey, Hutch Friend, Caden Cahoy, Sarah Uschmann and more! 

The Junior Pan American Championships are particularly important as we will compete to acquire quotas to the 2021 Junior Pan American Games, the first in history. This event is similar to the Pan American Games, which is a major multi-sport Games for our region of the world.

We hope that international competition will resume in some form later this year and therefore we will get to see these athletes take up their competition against the best in the World. Remembering, we are the reigning, defending Team Youth World Champions, and Women's Junior World Champions! 

June perhaps was, away from the platform one of the most interesting months in history at home and away from home. We saw the publication of the McLaren report at the IWF level, while of course our nation has been gripped by fresh attention given to the Black Lives Matter movement, which I wrote about in detail last month. 

As our nation opens up, please keep yourselves safe, especially at the gym and follow the USA Weightlifting re-opening guidelines!

In closing, I want to truly thank our entire membership for their continued support of USA Weightlifting. It is thanks to you, as well as the strong support of our governance structure and hard work of our staff that has allowed us to weather this storm better than most.

Speak to you in August!

Yours in sport,
Phil Andrews