GUEST OF HONOUR AT THE EWF EXECUTIVE BOARD MEETING
President Antonio Urso welcomes all his colleagues to Italy and thanks them for being present at this important board meeting. A meeting, which has taken on even more importance due to the presence of a key figure in the sports world, Dr. Ottavio Cinquanta, IOC member and President of the International Skating Union. After having introduced Dr. Cinquanta to all the members of the board, President Urso gives him the floor. Dr. Cinquanta says how privileged he feels to be amongst representatives of one of the world’s oldest sports. He informs the delegates about the situation at an Olympic level, explaining that the IOC had intended to eliminate one sport from the Olympic programme and that he made it a personal endeavour to ensure that weightlifting was not the sport to go. However, he appeals to the EWF to continue their fight against doping, the plague which is putting our sport at risk. He also invites the EWF to underline the importance of this concept to the IWF President, Dr. Tamas Ajàn. The IOC has made the definitive decision to eliminate one sport from the programme in 2020, continues Dr. Cinquanta, and he sincerely hopes that weightlifting will not pay the highest price.
Furthermore, he reminds all present that to remain in the Olympic programme, each sport must be represented by both male and female categories – therefore it is vital to promote and encourage weightlifting among young boys & girls.
Dr. Cinquanta outlines the major problems faced by modern sport:
Doping: first and foremost an attack on the health of our athletes and naturally a fraudulent action which belittles the sporting spirit;
Volunteers: sport has many willing volunteers, which can only be considered a positive aspect, however they are not all valid or experienced in the management of modern sport and this raises many points for discussion;
The economic spiral: the cost of organizing large-scale events is on the rise and finding sponsors and funding for them is becoming increasingly difficult.
He concludes by stating that these are the challenges we face in the near future and he invites everybody to be prepared to face them.
Finally he thanks the Executive Board for its hospitality and expresses his willingness to help our sport in any way possible.