Within a month, Weightlifting could lose Olympic Status
Weightlifting has been an Olympic sport since the first modern Olympic Games in 1886. It has been featured in every Olympic Games since 1920. Being at the Olympics is a huge part of our identity as a sport. The dream of an Olympic medal or even just becoming an Olympian is what pushes the best weightlifters to make the sacrifices they do for the sport.
A vote that will be taken by IWF Congress at the end of August could lead to weightlifting rapidly losing its position as an Olympic sport and being removed from the programme for Paris 2024.
Weightlifting would survive removal from the Olympics but it would be a very different sport. For at least a time it would be much diminished.
If you want Weightlifting to stay in the Olympics, the time to act is now.
What is the Vote On?
After several years of chaos at the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) which have seen extensive corruption allegations, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has issued an ultimatum – adopt a new constitution or face losing Olympic status.
The risk was underlined by a change to IOC rules made recently which would make it easier to remove a sport from future Games. The IOC made it clear that this change was aimed at weightlifting.
The IOC wants to see new leadership at the IWF to draw a line under decades of problems. It wants the IWF constitution to ensure this by barring those who have been involved in doping themselves or who represent nations suspended due to doping cases. It also wants more power for athletes.
A constitution that met the IOC’s requirements failed to pass just before the Olympics, with national federations split 50:50 (two-thirds must support a new constitution for it to pass)
The ‘old guard’ of existing IWF board members has proposed an alternative constitution that would enable them to keep their positions. However, the lawyer and independent experts who drew it up now say that it will not be accepted by the IOC.
What Can We Do?
The key vote will be taken by the IWF Congress. Each member federation gets one vote, no matter how large or small they are.
Sadly, most of these votes have most likely already been decided based on where the loyalties of those who run the national federations lie. However, some of them might be undecided. It is just possible that collectively, weightlifting athletes, coaches and fans could convince a few undecided federations to vote for change at the IWF and help save weightlifting as an Olympic sport.
We’re asking everyone to do three things:
- Right now, email your own federation to ask them to vote in support of reform (sample email and list of federations below)
- On Saturday 28th August, post on social media to let everyone know why weightlifting being in the Olympics is important fo you.
- Convince other members of the weightlifting family to do the same – share this page with them if that will help
Maybe, just maybe, we can make a difference. If it doesn’t work, at least we can say that we tried.
1 – Email Your National Federation
Below is a list of every IWF member federation and, where we could find it, their email address.
Contacting your federation is especially important if it is one of the smaller ones. However, even if you are sure how your federation will vote, it is still worth the small amount of time to send an email. Knowing that their members want reform may help in the discussions that will take place at the congress.
We suggest a very simple email along these lines:
Dear Sir or Madam,
I think weightlifting being in the Olympic Games is important for our national federation. Losing Olympic status would cause great harm. Since the IOC has made it clear that a failure to reform the IWF would lead to Olympic status being removed, I do not think further delay should be risked.
I am contacting you to ask that you use the vote of the national federation to vote for reform at the IWF Constitutional Congress on 29–30 August.
It is also important to me personally that I am part of an Olympic sport. Please do not take that away by failing to vote for reform.
I ask you to vote against the draft constitution proposed by the IWF Executive Board. This proposal will not meet the requirements of the IOC.
I ask you to vote for the original draft constitution and for the proposal that the Executive Board should resign, those on both sides of the dispute should stand aside for independent leadership and new elections should take place under the new constitution.
Please do edit this to add your personal reasons why it is important for weightlifting to remain part of the Olympic Games.
|Antigua And Barbuda||ANT|
|Bosnia And Herzegovina||BIHfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|People’S Republic Of China||CHNemail@example.com|
|Democratic Republic Of The Congo||CODfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Federated States Of Micronesia||FSMemail@example.com|
|Hong Kong, China||HKGfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Islamic Republic Of Iran||IRIemail@example.com|
|U.S. Virgin Islands||ISV|
|Republic Of Korea||KORfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Lao People’S Democratic Republic||LAOemail@example.com|
|Republic Of Moldova||MDAfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Papua New Guinea||PNGemail@example.com|
|Democratic People’S Republic Of Korea||PRKfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Syrian Arab Republic||SYRemail@example.com|
|United Republic Of Tanzania||TANfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Turks & Caicos Islands||TCAemail@example.com|
|Democratic Republic Of Timor-Leste||TLSfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Trinidad And Tobago||TTOemail@example.com|
|United Arab Emirates||UAEfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|United States Of America||USAemail@example.com|
|St. Vincent And The Grenadines||VINfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Wallis And Futuna||WLFemail@example.com|
2 – Post On Social Media on August 28
The key votes will happen on August 29-30, so Saturday August 28 could be our last chance to show our support for weightlifting as an Olympic sport.
The only thing we can do at that stage is post our reasons why it is so important that weightlifting remains in the Olympics and hope that those with the votes will listen.
Please use the hashtag #saveweightlifting and on Instagram mention us with @weightlifting_house so we can repost your contribution.
3 – Share the Campaign
Please reach out to anyone in the weightlifting world who can help spread the message.
If you know anyone who is a member of any of the smaller national federations, this is particularly important. They have a real chance to swing some votes in favour of reform.