USA Weightlifting Returns to In-Person Competition with First-of-its-kind Format
Continuing its place as a lead innovator in the Olympic sport space during the COVID-19 pandemic, USA Weightlifting returned to in-person competition for this weekend's 2021 Nike North American Open Series 1 & National University Championships powered by Rogue Fitness.
The event, which runs Friday March 5 - Sunday March 7, is being held in a hybrid format, a first of its kind for the sport.
Approximately 30% of the 866 registered athletes are lifting in-person at the Maverik Center in Salt Lake City with the remainder lifting at home via the online Zoom meeting platform.
"We are always looking at new ways to engage with our members and to try to bring them some sense of normalcy in these abnormal times," USA Weightlifting CEO Phil Andrews said. "We're grateful to our partners at the Utah Sports Commission and Visit Salt Lake for helping us give this competition opportunity for our community."
Screengrab of USAW livestream
Screenshot of live stream of the event. The stream is being hosted at http://usaw.live. Video clips available to media.
Under the unique hybrid model of competition, an athlete had the choice to lift in-person in Salt Lake City or at their homes. No matter what they chose, athletes will lift with other competitors in their bodyweight category at the same time, just like a normal weightlifting event.
"This format proves that the sport of Olympic weightlifting is accessible to anyone, anywhere," Andrews said.
With the health and safety of our community a paramount concern, participants attending in-person had to comply with USA Weightlifting's Back to Lifting guidelines including rules about COVID-19 testing, sanitation and social distancing requirements. These guidelines, crafted and reviewed by USA Weightlifting's Sports Medicine Society, the Sports Medicine Department of the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee and infectious disease experts.
The competition is being streamed for free at http://usaw.live.
It's been nearly one year since USA Weightlifting held an in-person national competition. All in-person competitions after the 2020 American Open Series 1 last March had to move to online-only events due to the pandemic.
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