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“Weightlifting Changed my Life”: A lesson of life in Honduras and in Jordan! 

It is often said that sport can be a tool for social success, or even more importantly a way of changing the lives of those practicing it. This is already a nice declaration on paper, but it becomes really interesting when concrete examples of the positive change sport may bring to the athletes are shown. Through an inspiring video – “Weightlifting Changed my Life” – the IWF went to Honduras and Jordan to talk about these young competitors, who saw their lives transformed thanks to their passion for the sport.


In the streets of Tegucigalpa, and in some of the most marginalised neighbourhoods of the Honduran capital, Axel Pavon, Emelin Ortiz, Jorge Hernandez, and Sofia Aleman tell us about their existences before and after weightlifting entered into their lives. Influenced by family or friends, they all underline the powerful impact the sport brought to their existence.


“This sport helped me a lot as it prevented me from going down the wrong path. It also made me a more mature and tougher person,” considers Ortiz, who had also fought against the discrimination against women in weightlifting. Aleman also had a “bumpy road, but it was sure worth it!” In her case, weightlifting decisively helped her overcome a serious depression episode. “It literally saved my life”.


Pavon talks about the power of the sport as a “ray of hope for many people at social risk”, while Hernandez is an athlete, but works at the same time in his own house construction company. “I come from a poor environment, but I didn’t want to remain like that. I wanted to have a better life than the ones my parents experienced. I refused the status of ‘being poor’ for my entire life. Weightlifting was essential in this process.”


On the other side of the planet, in Amman, weightlifting had also a major importance in the lives of many young athletes. Adlah Hasonh, sisters Rama and Rahima Hijazi, and Weam Qandeel are four female athletes that had to overcome the stigmatisation of the sport for women and are today promising talents in Jordan’s national team.


“I didn’t like the sport in the beginning, but when I started competing, I fell in love with it!” confesses Qandeel. “I know that through our example, we are a role model for some people,” she adds. The Hijazi siblings agree that weightlifting reinforced their confidence, while their mother Rania confesses: “I had to research about the effects of the sport on the woman’s body. And it soon became evident that there was absolutely no risk to their health. Today, I encourage my daughters and I am happy with their evolution.”


In Al-Manara, Asem and Raad Alsallaj are brothers and also share a passion for weightlifting. “It’s a family business, our father was a lifter, and we are trained by our uncle. Our destiny was to be in this sport. But we love it and we support each other.”


Get inspired by these examples of devotion and discover the power of weightlifting in the lives of these young athletes!

Enjoy our video here