In a June 16th email sent out to members and post on their site, USA Weightlifting (USAW) announced the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) would cease offering a resident program for weightlifters as of September 30, 2016. The current USAW resident program allows lifters to live and train at the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center, which is owned and operated by the USOC.
USAW said they learned of the decision on June 9th. USAW CEO Phil Andrews addressed American weightlifting fans and USAW members in a statement from the above article.
“We are truly disappointed to see the end of our resident program. This historic training site has assisted in producing Olympians and champions in our sport. Awareness of this closure prior to the 2016 Games gives our organization time to evaluate our training needs going into the next Olympic quadrennial,” said Phil Andrews, USAW CEO.
USA Weightlifting has recently announced new hires and refocused their efforts on both expanding weightlifting within the country while boosting America’s competitiveness at international events. It was also the base of operations for Zygmunt Smalcerz, the Polish gold medalist who currently serves as head coach for the resident program.
The announcement comes as a hit to a program that supported American weightlifters training full or near-full time for high-level competition. Earlier this year, MuscleDriver USA — which supported and hosted weightlifters as a private corporation — filed for bankruptcy and ended their residency program.
USAW will now begin searching for new training sites. The dedicated equipment used by weightlifters at the USOC will remain USAW property, meaning it can be transferred to a site or sites for new residency programs.
USA Weightlifting currently partners with a number of educational institutions on University programs in weightlifting, including Northern Michigan, Louisiana State University in Shreveport (LSUS), Lindenwood University, and East Tennessee State University, among others. Several of these programs have dedicated weightlifting facilities, though it’s unclear at the moment if USAW would consider moving part or all of its residency program and equipment to one of these locations.
Featured Image: Donovan Ford