This weekend is the 2017 USA Weightlifting National Championships, which is being held May 11-14th in Chicago, Illinois. If you’re interested in checking in on your favorite athletes, then check out the live stream. The three day live stream will have color commentary presented by BarBend, so you can be sure you’ll never miss a beat.
Also, check out the full competition schedule. As of the linked start list (which potentially can still change) there are 384 athletes registered for the three day event. Before any athletes even take the change, history has already been made (for the first time ever, there are more women competitors than men).
[For a full preview of the 2017 USA Weightlifting National Championships, check out this excellent write-up by BarBend weightlifting correspondent Mike Graber.]
Something interesting pointed out in Graber’s ultimate preview, and mentioned above, is the ratio of athletes in attendance. Male entries are down 9% from last year’s National Championships, but women’s attendance is up 48%.
We have a few hunches for the sharp increase in female entries. First, it could be due to the newly established women’s weight classes. Second, the increase could be a result of the increase in women’s Olympic lifting being shared on social platforms, which is encouraging more athletes to comfortably join the sport.
Regardless the reason, history has been made, and it’s great to see the sport growing so rapidly for women.
The 2017 National Championships will serve as the final qualification event for the Men’s and Woman’s teams that will compete at the Pan American Championships this July in Miami. It is also is the 2nd opportunity (of five total events) to qualify for the 2017 USA National Team to compete this December at the World Championships in Anaheim.
This event will host some of America’s biggest named weightlifters, including past and possibly future Olympians.
Editor’s note: BarBend is the Official Media Partner of USA Weightlifting. Unless otherwise stated for special projects, the two organizations maintain editorial independence.
Feature image from @usaweightlifting Instagram page.