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Jessica is our 2016 Olympic Hopeful and Sarah is our 2012 Olympian in Weightlifting. We're setting out to be "Pretty Strong" and we encourage you to do the same.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Updated! National Champs/Direct Athlete Support

A lot has happened since the last time I chatted with y'all. Thank goodness Jessica wrote something!

The National Championships were much different than anticipated. I originally had a bad attitude about where the location was for the meet...Council Bluffs, Iowa. After all of their storms and stuff, I was glad we were able to bring in some revenue into their city/state. I was surprised at the turn out. There were a few sessions with quite a few spectators. There was this sense of tension in the room as several lifters (around 30) bombed out. To start the meet off, we had a history making 48 kgs session.

A lifter from Georgia, felt like the sport of weightlifting was discriminating against her because she was Muslim and wanted to compete. USAW and the IWF changed costume rules to allow her and all men and women wishing to compete more modestly. We got to see the first Muslim woman weightlifter dressed in the new modest uniform.

There was supposed to be a live webcast but only for one day. Because USAW lowered the entry total, there were like a million people competed and the competition got pushed back a little. That went beyond the USOC's time slot and in the meddle of either the 77's or 85's the turned off the cameras. This was a big upset.

My session,  if I were watching would have been pretty exciting. On the platform, I saw a full crowd. I have never seen that at a 75+ session in America. Marissa Klingseis hit 3 new Schoolage National Records. My friend Jules Marsh, a masters lifter, went 6 for 6 with prs at her first Nationals. The top 3 girls were me, Holley Mangold and Chioma Amaechi. Chioma came back from a bomb out at the Jr. World Championships and did not have such a great day in the snatch. Holley went 3 for 3 making 107 on her last attempt. I opened with 108 for the win. Then went to 11 to tie my pr but missed it, then I made it on my 3rd. In clean and jerk Holley went 6 for 6 making 130. Chioma went 3 for 3 in the clean and jerk opening with 125 making 132 and then making a huge jump on her 3rd. She had to make 141 to make the World Championship team. She made it! I was ahead in the snatch so all I had to to was hit an opener for a total then take a lift for the win. I lifted 142. We considered passing on my 3rd attempt. Instead, we thought, "Why not?" and we attempted 150. I had made it once in training but this time I was not successful. Oh well. I'm pretty excited to have secured my 3rd consecutive national title.
2011 National Champions
48-Kelly Williams
53-Jodi Vaughn
58-Rizelyx Rivera
63-Vanessa McCoy
69-Sarah Bertram
75-Jamia Jackson
75+-Sarah Robles (Me!)

Debate- USAW is making men and women compete against each other? What?
I had a meeting with the CEO before Nationals and I had a discussion about our Direct Athlete Support system. I don't believe that this new system is fair. For Direct Athlete Support (elite athlete stipend) men and women are forced to compete against each other for  "projected placement totals" It's an average of the past 5 years world champs and Olympic Games 3rd place finishes. The top athlete overall gets $1,750.00 a month then they have top male and female funding each receiving $750.00 then the top male and female jr.lifters, top male and female schoolage lifters, and the resident athletes male and female get $250.00 Whoever has the highest projected total is considered the "2012 Medal Potential" athlete. Not only do females have to compete against all the other females, they also need to compete against men for funding. Why does every other category except the "2012Medal Potential Athlete" have a top male or female? I was told in this meeting the the USOC gets to pick who they want to give the money to and that it isn't in the budget to fund a "2012 Medal Potential Female." The high performance director, CEO and the National coach are all supposed to get together and create the criteria then it is supposed to get approved by the BOD and then it is approved by the USOC. Therefore, USAW can create the criteria anyway they want and if it gets approved, that's that. Not the other way around. I proposed to them that it is still within the budget and more fair to fund both a male and a female if they are both awarded $1,250.00. After lifting at the National Championships, I had over 100% of the 8th place projected placement total, higher than any other male or female, yet the DAS remains the same, because the standard has changed again without informing any of the athletes or coaches. This is not fair, to any of the athletes because the criteria for DAS keeps changing without notice and particularly not fair making the genders compete against each other. To say there can't be a male and a female medal potential athlete is ridiculous. Women have performed a lot better than men in recent years, yet they don't get equal funding as men who have done worse.
  • Men haven't earned an Olympic medal since 1984. Women have earned 2 in 2000. 
  • Women have had more Olympians on the Olympic team since its inception in 2000.
  • Women have scored better internationally during this quad earning us 2 slots for the Olympic Games, the men have none
  • If there are two teams, there is an athlete on the woman's side who has medal potential, and a male who has the highest potential
  • Men are projected to place higher based on percentages, women have actually shown that they actually place higher in international meets. 
I've also been informed that the new criteria has not been posted on the USAW website because it has not been approved by the USOC yet. Yet they've already allocated funds. Am I the only one that thinks this system is flawed and unfair and sexist? A lot of people don't even know this is happening, and people on the BOD don't know all the ins and outs of DAS and it's every changing ways. I feel it's important to inform you all and educate you on these issues.

Thanks for taking the time to read this! I'm hoping to get back on track and get more posted frequently.




Anonymous said...

Weightlifting is not a sport that can have men and women trying to qualify against each other. If we were talking fencing, or shooting a sport that is technique instead of strength that would be different. Is there any other Olympic sport that pits the men against women. Why are the elite athletes in weightlifting the only category affected by this rule. This is a truly mis use of funding and yes I do believe this is sexist. These girls have worked the butts off and they are not compensated properly. I believe the people who keep changing the criteria, should be ashamed of themselves. They know who should be funded the higher amount. They should even the amounts paid to the elite athletes or pay the one who has actually earned it. Its time to play fair and just.

jway1969 said...

the woemen dont have 3 spots yet, not until after Paris 2011 can this be said

Sarah and Jessica said...

It's 2 slots and you're right. We will know after worlds. The point however, is that the women have lifted well enough to score points for 2 slots. The men have lifted well enough for none.