In a new announcement from USA Weightlifting, it’s been confirmed that three-time Olympic gold medalist (and one-time Olympic bronze medalist) Pyrros Dimas will be joining the organization as Technical Director starting in mid-2017.

The official announcement details just some of the responsibilities Dimas will assume roughly a year from now.

Dimas will be supported by the right American expertise to help him succeed in his new role and will be involved in our international strategy, youth development, performance strategy, talent identification, performance funding allocation and coaching education, and will also be supporting USA Weightlifting’s fundraising efforts. Dimas will also act in a special advisor role to the CEO & Board of Directors on international relations matters.

Dimas recently returned to the weightlifting platform after 12 years — his last competition appearance occurring at the 2004 Athens Olympics, where he took third in front of a crowd packed with Greek fans cheering on their country’s most celebrated weightlifter. In addition to his accomplishments at four Olympic Games, Dimas won three IWF World Championships and set over 10 world records in his lifting career.

Of course, Dimas hasn’t been away from weightlifting entirely during his retirement as an athlete.

The Albanian-born lifting legend — who has also been a member of Greek Parliament and serves on the International Weightlifting Federation’s Executive Board — has a history of collaboration with USA Weightlifting, and he hosted a Q&A session at the 2016 Nationals/Olympic Trials in Salt Lake City earlier this year. Dimas’ daughter acted as his translator during that event. Two of Dimas’ three children attend school in the United States.

Though it will likely be a year or more before Dimas assumes day-to-day responsibilities with USAW — and the exact extent and planned duration of his involvement remains to be seen — this is certainly a surprise to some in America’s weightlifting community. We’ll see what it can ultimately mean for the organization and the sport’s growth in America.

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