Houston IWF World Championships Wins Prestigious SportsTravel Award

On Tuesday, SportsTravel Magazine held their annual awards gala at the TEAMS (Travel, Events and Management in Sports) 2016 Conference and Expo in Atlantic City, NJ. TEAMS represents the world’s largest gathering of event organizers and travel planners from the sports industry.

In exciting news for the world of strength sports, the award for Best Amateur Single-Event of the year went to the 2015 World Weightlifting Championships, which were held November 19-28, 2015 in Houston, Texas, USA. The award will be shared between the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF), USA Weightlifting (USAW), and the Harris County – Houston Sports Authority (HSHSA). On hand to accept the award was USAW CEO Phil Andrews and HCHSA CEO Janis Burke.

“It is such an honor to win this award,” HCHSA CEO Janis Burke said in a press release by the HCHSA. “Houston welcomed the world and I am so proud that our community was recognized for its hospitality.” 

“Organizing and hosting an event of this magnitude is never easy,” USAW CEO Phil Andrews added. “We were lucky to have great partners at the International Weightlifting Federation and the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority who were all instrumental in making this event such a success.”  

Weightlifting was victorious over 4 other nominated events that included:

  • 2015 ASA/USA Girls Class A 14U Fast-Pitch National Championship, Salem, VA
  • 2015 GWN Dragon Boat Challenge Presented by CIBC, Toronto, ON
  • 2015 NXT Cup Lacrosse Tournament, Brandywine Valley, PA
  • 2015 USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships, Milwaukee, WI

The SportsTravel Award honored the World Championships for “its superior organization and spectator attendance.” The award also recognized the city of Houston.

The Opening ceremonies featured a performance of Mystére™ by Cirque Du Soleil®, as well as official oaths by the athletes, a history of weightlifting video accompanied by a live musical performance from a Houston Symphony cellist, and a presentation of flags for each country represented. Also in attendance for the event was Basketball Hall of Famer Dikembe Mutombo, and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) superstar and multi-sport strength athlete Mark Henry, himself a two-time Olympian in weightlifting.

Almost 600 athletes from over 90 countries competed at event, hosted at the George R. Brown Convention Center. Along with the 2014 World Weightlifting Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan, this event co-served as the primary qualification method for a country to qualify athletes to compete in the 2016 Olympic Games.

Featured image: Harris County – Houston Sports Authority