By Kevin Farley
The International Weightlifting Saturday transformed the Youth Olympic Village into a celebration of sport and education as dozens of athletes took part in the IWF’s Focus Day at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Focused on the importance of anti-doping education and competing cleanly, 40 participants from more than 10 nations underwent several physical and mental exercises in an obstacle course that connected the athletes both with each other and the sport.
“This was a great opportunity for the athletes to get to know each other and learn about the important anti-doping efforts of the IWF,” Athlete Role Model Morghan King (USA) said.
In a display of unity that defines the Weightlifting family, athletes first split into group, participants from different countries forming individual teams. Then, wearing special shirts provided by Eleiko, the seven teams took selfies with an #iLiftClean photo frame.
It was a friendly competition consisting of vertical jumps, problem-solving puzzles and team-building exercises all centered around the IWF’s #iLiftClean anti-doping education program. Teams were scored based on their performances in the obstacle course, and a winner was selected after the competition and given a special prize.
The event culminated with an anti-doping education trivia game. The athletes learned about prohibited substances, therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs) and the doping control process.
Armed with new education from the IWF’s #iLiftClean anti-doping program, the athletes then turned their attention to Athlete Role Models Morghan King and 3-time Olympic champion Pyrros Dimas (GRE) for a question and answer session.
As the future of our sport, the youth athletes looked to draw upon the successes of the Athlete Role Models for inspiration about their own Weightlifting careers.
“It was so great to speak with all of the athletes,” King said. “I am so honored to be here to represent the sport I love, and encourage these kids to go for their dreams and do the very best they can.”