#LiftForPeace in blue and yellow
In the weightlifiting world, blue disks on a bar may be of 20 or 2kg, while yellow ones are of 15 or 1.5kg. Today, on February 24, they could mean “365” the exact number of days from the beginning of the war in Ukraine. In reality, they mean 2, the two colours of the flag of an invaded country, or 5 if we prefer: the number of letters of a word so many times written, sung, pronounced, but so often violated – Peace. The weightlifiting community stands on this day in solidarity with the people of Ukraine, and is showing its aspiration for Peace through an Instagram campaign, initiated by the IWF Athletes Commission (AC).
The idea is simple: the initiative comprises the lifting of a loaded bar using the blue and yellow weight plates, while wearing a white T-shirt to symbolise the call for Peace and the end of the war. The movement will depend on individual preferences and may include Deadlift, Snatch, Squat or Clean.
“The goal was to call on all athletes, officials and members of our weightlifting communities to find courage to participate in the campaign to raise awareness on calling for peace between Ukraine and Russia. We have a vast community worldwide and we also have athletes and their supporting families on both sides of the conflict,” explains Forrester Osei, Chair of the IWF AC.
The reaction has been largely positive, thanks to a message that is centered on a consensual and worldwide recognised value, the need for Peace. “We are not running this campaign to pass judgment on any country but this world is a free world and for any nation to attack another sovereign nation is unjustifiable and unacceptable. Many athletes from several sports were loss on both sides for a decision they had no say in. So we are recognising all our athletes caught up in this unlawfully conflict,” adds Osei, also one of the three AC representatives in the IWF Executive Board.
Reflecting on the importance of this symbolic action, the Ghanaian athlete states: “We can see it as a symbol to assure our weightlifting family members in this region that we acknowledge their suffering and we stand with them and their beloved ones. In the end, we just wish they can have the freedom they rightfully deserve”. On a more personal note, Osei concludes by showing his “appreciation to those who took a bit of time on their busy training schedules to participate in this campaign, showing Ukraine and the world that IWF stands for Peace”.
[This action can be followed today and tomorrow on the Instagram page of the IWF AC at @iwf.ac – Hashtags to use: #Liftforpeace #iwfliftforpeace #Sportsorpeace #Dosportsnotwar #SolidarityUkraine #IWFAC]
By Pedro Adrega, IWF Communications