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Between November 5-9, the International Powerlifting League (IPL) held its World Championship, with amazing achievements by lifters of all shapes, sizes and sexes. I was there from the first to the last day – as athlete, judge and official – and I suppose I can safely assume that everybody had a great time. This is no small accomplishment for such a big meet.
I would like to especially thank the organizers who consistently offer the best powerlifting event in the sport, in the world. By “the best” I mean the one that meets the fundamental requirements of our Great Art: 1. strict application of the rules; 2. organization and punctuality; 3. hospitality and an “athlete friendly” environment; 4. legitimate authority from those who hold high hierarchical positions. Besides all that, the venue is great, the warmup area is big enough to accommodate all teams, the place is clean, etc.
The weigh-ins are always carried out so that they impose the least stress over lifters. We are aware that many decided to cut weight and are there in a condition of discomfort. It is a long established protocol to take the names of each lifter upon their arrival at the weigh in area, after which one official organizes the score cards according to the list and the other two call the lifters to the scale booths. This way, they may get their rack heights and safety bar heights taken and wait comfortably resting while we do our job.
Even in the heaviest days, nobody has to wait much more than 40 minutes to be weighed.
Thank you very much to the weigh in officials who coordinated this activity, always taking into account the lifters’ best interest and the overall organization of the meet.
The organization is divided in different departments. I am only aware of what pertains to the judging, weigh-in, table and expeditor activities. Long before the meet, we submit our schedules to Mr. Alan Aerts and a chart is produced so that each one of us knows exactly what will be done each day. Judges take turns in different positions in order to have their full attention at each flight. However, judges are human and things can go wrong. In this meet, for example, I was sick Thursday and couldn’t judge. This caused no trouble at all because we have a wonderful team of judges and an agile and efficient coordination.
Our great spotters deserve a special mention as well: this is the silent, usually the least acknowledged group of people on whom lifters’ lives depend. They have made great catches and have loaded the bars with attention and accuracy. We had no misloads during the meet. Few people have an idea of the actual “workout load” of a meet to the spotters/loaders team: it is HUGE.
Shelley Denison made sure they were well fed and hydrated the whole time, which is a bit more than just proper treatment and politeness: these guys need that more than the lifters themselves. They sweat, lose electrolytes, their glycemic levels drop and must be taken care of. They are.
All the other members of the staff did a great job, as always.
Anthony Pastorello and his team worked all five days, tirelessly, providing the best real time experience to those who could not come or wanted to watch the show from their computers.
Thank you, athletes and coaches for being so devoted to the sport and, at the same time, so friendly and helpful with each other. I feel we are building a wonderful community. My own team was “adopted” by Eric Cranage and his team, to whom I am most grateful.
My boys did such a great job that they deserve another blog entry, just for them. Hugo Quinteiro and Carlos Daniel Llosa, you make me so proud, my little dragons.
Thank you so much to Alan Aerts and also to all the other judges that came long before me, with whom, at each meet, I learn so much.
Finally, thank you so much, Steve Denison: if it weren’t for you, we wouldn’t have real powerlifting at an international organizational level.