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A Preview of the Pan American/Ibero American Weightlifting Championships and 2009 U.S. National Championships

With three separate competitions going on at once, the Pan American Weightlifting Championships, the Ibero American Weightlifting Championships, and the 2009 U.S. National Championships, there will be a ton of weightlifting to watch and some stiff competition.

“It’s a big event,” said Mike Gattone, Senior International Coach and High Performance and Coaching Education Director for USA Weightlifting as well as a leader of Windy City Weightlifting in Chicago. “It represents the one chance each year for the best of our Continental Federation to come together and find out who is the best in each weight class and who is the best country as well. It’s a once a year event and it represents a pinnacle for folks within each Continental Federation.”

While many people may not know much about the sport of weightlifting, it is something everyone can empathize with. Seeing who can lift the most weight has always been a popular competition among all societies. So even for those who don’t know the sport, this competition will still prove fascinating.

“[Weightlifting] has a lot of purity, which people admire,” Gattone said. “People compete against each other, but there is also the drama of one person up there on the stage trying to put this weight up over their head. There will be a lot of education and explanation during the event as well. This is a good chance for people to get a feel for what a cool sport weightlifting is and get to like it.”

Chicago is also extremely excited to welcome all these international athletes to the tournament and to the city.

We hope that the people of Chicago enjoy this tournament as much as those tournament participants enjoy Chicago.


Two-hundred-eighty athletes from 22 countries are preparing to compete in the Pan-Am weightlifting championship at the UIC forum. Among them, the Cuban women’s team, which is competing for the first time in the United States.

Tickets are free with the hope that enthusiastic crowds will send the message that Chicago is excited about hosting an Olympic-caliber competition. The weightlifting tournament is among several events Chicago’s Olympic bid team will be hosting this summer.

Currently, 22 countries are attending the event:
Argentina, Aruba, Barbados, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, Spain, The United States, and Venezuela.