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Weightlifting confirmed on the programme of the Olympic Games Los Angeles 2028

Weightlifting has today been confirmed on the programme of the Olympic Games Los Angeles 2028, following a vote of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session in Mumbai, India.


It comes after the IOC Executive Board and Olympic Programme Commission recommended the sport for inclusion as part of their discussions last week.


Today’s news protects the dreams and ambitions of millions of athletes around the world and provides much needed certainty for all stakeholders of the sport. 


It reflects strong progress being made in governance and anti-doping reform under the leadership of the refreshed IWF Executive Board elected in June last year.

The IOC Session in Mumbai (IND)

Since his appointment, 
IWF President Mohammed Jalood has prioritised dialogue and action to put weightlifting on the path to a new and stronger future in line with the criteria set out for the sport to remain on the Olympic programme.


Reacting to the vote, President Jalood said: “My first thoughts today are for our global weightlifting community – and especially the athletes – for whom this news will be both a great relief and a cause for rejoicing.


“It is thanks to everyone’s collective efforts that we are here today, and we thank the members of the International Olympic Committee for recognising our unity, commitment to change, and the great strides we are making as a sport.


“Today is a moment for weightlifting to celebrate, but it should not be seen as an end. We must – and will – continue, in line with our strategic priorities, towards a new future for weightlifting as a healthy, modern, and athlete-centred sport.”


IWF President Mohammed Jalood (right) and IWF Secretary General Antonio Urso in Mumbai (IND)

Antonio Urso, IWF Secretary General considered: “This is the result of a very hard work and commitment from the IWF family to a change of culture in our sport. The initial shockwave provoked by our exclusion from the Olympic programme in 2028 definitively obliged us to choose a new direction, with a renovated team since June 2022. 


“Working united, in a transparent and determined way, we made a massive improvement in two of the domains that needed more attention: good governance and anti-doping policy. Through a constructive and continuous dialogue with the IOC, this shift was duly valued and our beloved Sport is back to the place it deserves, the Olympic arena. 


“This is only the first step; we must continue to prove our value, reliability, and accountability in a very competitive sports environment. Our athletes and fans around the world certainly deserve that.”


Ursula Papandrea, IWF First Vice-President, stated: “This is of course the best possible news for the weightlifting family! Our athletes, coaches, and officials devoting their lives to this sport in the five continents deserve this recognition for their passion and hard work. At the level of the IWF management, this is also a fair tribute to the immense transformation our Federation has undergone since the last elections of the Board in June 2022.

IWF First Vice-President Ursula Papandrea

“Concepts such integrity, good governance, safeguarding, transparency, gender equity, athlete representation, or human rights are now part of the IWF language and practice. This is a fundamental change in the way we operate and govern the sport on a global level. But we must never rest on our laurels: this tireless effort must continue, so that we can remain and reinforce our added value in the Games’ programme in particular, and in the Olympic Movement in general.”


IWF Athletes Commission Chair Forrester Osei

Forrester Osei, IWF Athletes Commission Chair, said: “On behalf of all our great athletes, I cannot hide my satisfaction for this unforgettable milestone! The reinstatement of our Sport in the Olympic programme is a solid proof that the IWF is now considered a respected and reliable organisation. Its efforts in keeping the Athletes at the core of its functioning have proved essential in this successful strategy. Reforms allowing the direct election of the Athletes Commission (AC) members by its peers, or the inclusion in the Board and Congress of three AC representatives, with full voting rights, clearly show the IWF’s determination to change the culture of the sport. 


“We feel we are heard and we are actively taking part in the decision-making process. Our involvement in the recent establishment of the first-ever IWF Strategic Plan is also evidence that lifters are properly considered at the IWF level. From now on, we sincerely hope that Los Angeles 2028 is only the first stop in a long road of positive achievements for the weightlifting family. In this so happy moment, the role of our President Mohammed Jalood and all colleagues from the IWF Board need to be recognised and duly appreciated”.


Hidilyn Diaz, IWF Athletes Commission member and first-ever Olympic gold medallist for the Philippines, considered: “The Olympic Games is the supreme goal for all the athletes competing in sports. I am in a good position to know the value and importance of taking part in the greatest sports event on the planet! Knowing that weightlifting has been confirmed in the Los Angeles 2028 programme is a great joy for all of us. Our Sport is one of the founding ones in Olympic history, being present already in the first edition of the Games, in 1896. It also symbolises like no other the notion of ‘Fortius’ (Stronger), present in the Olympic motto. 

Hidilyn Diaz (PHI)

“I am sure the IOC will not regret this so important decision; it is now up to us to continue honouring the Olympic principles and values. In this moment of satisfaction, I must thank the IWF President Mohammed Jalood and the entire IWF leadership for their vision and their hard work for the benefit of weightlifting and its athletes around the world”.

By IWF Communications