Earlier today, USA Weightlifting President Ursula Garza-Papandrea was elected the first-ever female Vice President for the International Weightlifting Federation. IWF elections are being held in Bangkok, Thailand.
There are six total Vice Presidents in IWF Leadership. Changes to the IWF Constitution last fall mandate at least one of these positions — along with at least one Executive Board Member spot — must be filled by women. Garza won her election with 87 delegation votes against 55 delegation votes for Canada’s Moira Lassen. Lassen was the first-ever female Executive Board Member for the IWF.
In an article posted on USA Weightlifting’s site, Garza-Papandrea expressed her excitement and gratitude when learning the results.
“I am honored beyond words by the support of the international Weightlifting community,” Garza-Papandrea said. “I had much encouragement by so many of the Weightlifting family and I am proud to serve Weightlifting at this level.”
The elections have so far also marked the reelection of Dr. Tamas Ajan (Hungary) to the position of IWF President. This will be Ajan’s fifth consecutive term in the position.
Fans of weightlifting in the US and abroad may be familiar with Garza-Papandrea’s accomplishments. She is a USAW Senior International coach and had a storied career as a weightlifter, representing the United States at the World level five times.
Several more USA Weightlifting members are running for positions in the IWF elections, which began over the weekend and continue into this week. They are USA Weightlifting Technical Director Pyrros Dimas (Greece), coach Dr. Kyle Pierce, USAW Technical Committee Chairman Joe Triolo, and USAW Medical Society Chairman Dr. Mark Levallee.
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Featured image courtesy of USA Weightlifting