Pyrros Dimas on the Future of Weightlifting and IWF Elections

Pyrros Dimas is one of the world’s most famous weightlifters, and more than a decade after his retirement from competition, he’s stayed busy as an official and administrator at the sport’s highest levels. Dimas — a Greek citizen who also serves as Technical Director at USA Weightlifting — is one of five USA Weightlifting members running for senior IWF positions. Dimas is seeking reelection to the IWF’s Executive Board. (IWF elections are set to take place May 29th and 30th.)

We recently caught up with Dimas to get his perspective on the upcoming election and to learn which issues he sees as most important to the sport in the upcoming Olympic cycle.

As many of our readers are aware, you’re seeking reelection IWF Executive Board. What motivated you to make a run for this position in the past? What is different about this year?

I believe I have fresh new ideas and perspective on the sport and this has motivated me to seek reelection. Weightlifting has given me many things, my life, and I want to give back. Also, I believe it’s very important this year to have strong people on the executive Board, and in leadership positions like Tamas Ajan and Ursula Garza. Weightlifting may be at a turning point, because we know from other sports like Wrestling that the IOC have scrutinized them to go out of the Games. We need strong leaders that are well connected and can bring us all together in a positive new direction to change the sport, and keep us strong in the Olympic Program.

If reelected, what would be your top priorities?

The last term I was on the Athlete Committee and now I want to be more involved in the Education Program. I believe through proper education we can more positively change culture around the world to assist in the battle against doping. I want to do all I can to continue the fight against doping and work to make the sport equitable around the world. The IWF has lead a strong fight against doping, and I want to continue to move this agenda forward through better education.

You’ve had a lengthy and accomplished career in the sport: coach, coach, administrator. In your experience, what is the most challenging aspect of making the transition from weightlifter to weightlifting official?

The transition has not been too not difficult because the sport is the same no matter what role you have. If we are in the family of weightlifting nothing changes and the transition is easy. Weightlifting is life, and I’m just living it in a different way. We’re like flowers as long as we are involved in the sport we will bloom, but if we go out we will die. If you were an athlete you know what the athletes needed, so it’s not difficult to move to management.

In your opinion, what is the number one challenge to weightlifting’s growth across the world?

A big challenge is continuing to get people to understand the beauty and importance of proper weightlifting and strength training in all sports. If people understand what weight lifting can do for them, producing more power, more speed, and preventing injury, they will appreciate it more. If more people do good weightlifting for their sport, they will appreciate watching our sport more, and also may come over to our sport. We have to continue to make weightlifting relevant to more people.

What do you think weightlifting fans would like to see more of? Less of?

I would like to see more depth from more nations so that each weight class is more competitive. In the last Olympic Games many countries won medals and this is important to the future. For me it is also easy to say that I would like to see less of: bad technique!

As we approach Tokyo 2020, what do you think is most likely to change for the sport in the next three to four years?

If the battle against doping continues working harder, we will see more nations competing for medals, and more countries competing well at the Olympic Games, and WorldChampionships. Also, I think Weightlifting is becoming more and more popular, so we will continue to see more fans, and more great media outlets like BarBend rising around the world.

Editor’s Note: BarBend is the Official Media Partner of USA Weightlifting. 

Featured image: @pyrrospyrros on Instagram / @sickangles