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IWF New Year’s message

In these final days of 2023, we are very happy to report on a very successful year for the weightlifting family! We can proudly say that these last 12 months have been an important milestone in the already rich 118-year history of our International Federation. The highlight of this year’s achievements occurred on October 16, when the International Olympic Committee decided to reinstate our beloved sport in the programme of the Olympic Games Los Angeles 2028.

After years of uncertainty and difficult challenges to overcome, the IOC recognised at the highest level that the IWF is progressing in the right direction and deserves its full place in the Olympic arena. This moment of immense joy is also an occasion to recognise our responsibility to continue this positive momentum and push ahead in the years to come. More than ever, the International Weightlifting Federation must ensure that the mechanisms we implemented in the areas of good governance and anti-doping, for example, are strong, and more importantly, are working efficiently.

After the election of a new Board in June 2022, the work developed in 2023 consolidated the structural reforms that were necessary to enhance the credibility, reliability, and reputation of our Federation. From the creation of the first-ever IWF Refugee Team and the development of a Safety and Integrity Policy, and the unanimous approval of our updated Constitution, the weightlifting family showed a remarkable sense of unity and co-operation throughout the five continents.

The development of our IWF Strategic Plan (for the period 2024-2032), in collaboration with all stakeholders in the IWF family, was another success, reinforcing our strong will to embrace modernity in our activities and ensure a clear roadmap for the future.

In a year marked by several Olympic qualification events, our competitions gained in importance and exposure. Last September, in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia), around 700 lifters from 120 nations gathered for the most-attended edition of our World Championships. Over 14 days, the best lifters in the world had the opportunity to perform in excellent conditions, while fighting for a spot in the next Games in Paris.

The Olympic rendezvous in the French capital is naturally the major milestone of 2024 – 120 athletes will display their strength throughout 10 bodyweight categories, thus culminating a qualification pathway that will still include five continental championships in the first months of the year and the IWF World Cup in April in Phuket (THA). After our stay in France, the year will conclude with the celebration of our global showcase in December in Manama (Bahrain).

Like our stars, we are very motivated to enter in this new year and show the vitality of our sport. We are optimistic and confident that despite the obvious progress, we must not rest on our laurels. We must continue working hard to demonstrate why weightlifting symbolises in a perfect way the Fortius notion of the Olympic motto – we are Strong, but our desire is to get even Stronger. And we will do so together.

In this very positive context, we cannot conclude this historic year without expressing our sincere gratitude and appreciation to all those who, collectively and decisively contributed to all these successes: our colleagues from the IWF Board, our devoted IWF Secretariat, but mainly our Continental and National Member Federations around the globe, as well as their respective athletes, coaches, officials, and administrators.

Without their daily work and outstanding devotion to our sport, we couldn’t celebrate these achievements. Our consolidated position in the Olympic Movement is a fair tribute to their support and action in their territories. Only together, working locally, but thinking globally, can we progress and show to the world our dynamism and commitment to a healthier and happier planet.

With enthusiasm and satisfaction, we wish the entire weightlifting community a prosperous and successful New Year of 2024!

Thank you for making the IWF stronger and more respected worldwide!

Mohammed Jalood                                 Antonio Urso
IWF President                                        IWF Secretary General