COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The International Weightlifting Federation today announced that Houston, Texas will host the 2015 IWF World Weightlifting Championships. The Harris County – Houston Sports Authority worked in conjunction with the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Weightlifting to present the winning bid to the IWF at their Annual Meeting in Paris, France. The Championship event will be a qualifier for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games and will take place in the fall of 2015 with exact dates to be determined at a later time.
Athletes representing 189 IWF member-countries will have the opportunity to qualify for this prestigious international event. Approximately 1,600 coaches and athletes will travel to Houston with an average stay of seven days. Additionally, spectators and members of the media from around the world are expected to attend.
Janis Schmees, the executive director of the Harris County – Houston Sports Authority stated, “We are so pleased with the IWF’s decision to award this event to the United States and Houston. This is an event of great international significance and will make a huge impact for the sport of weightlifting in the United States. Houston is an experienced destination, having hosted other major sporting events, with world-class venues and we look forward to building our weightlifting community even more and hosting the event in 2015.”
USOC CEO Scott Blackmun said, “The USOC has worked diligently to be a meaningful partner in the worldwide Olympic Movement. One way you do that is by welcoming the athletes of the world and hosting world-class events like the IWF’s world championships. The Houston Sports Authority has been a great partner in this effort, and I look forward to working with them in the run-up to 2015.”
John Duff, CEO of USA Weightlifting, added, “I’m incredibly excited to bring the world championships back to the United States for the first time in almost 30 years. Not only will this event be great for the athletes of today, it will no doubt inspire countless athletes of tomorrow.”
Houston has a strong weightlifting community and most recently hosted the 2011 USA Weightlifting National Junior Championships.
This is the first time the IWF World Weightlifting Championships, using the combined men’s and women’s format which began in 1991, is being held in the U.S. The last time the men’s event was hosted by a U.S. city was 1978 in Gettysburg, Pa. and a women’s-only championship was held in Daytona Beach, Fla. in 1987.