USAW Releases Post-Paris Selection Procedure and Athlete Stipend Policies

COLORADO SPRINGS – USA Weightlifting has released its latest revision of Selection Procedures and Athlete Stipend Policies. The selection procedure policies affect competitions beginning Aug. 30, 2024-Dec. 31, 2025, while the Athlete Stipend Policy is effective Aug. 1, 2024-Dec. 31, 2024. Selection policy revisions emphasize Olympic qualification, selecting highly competitive teams for international competition, earning medals in international competitions, and providing international competition experience for developing athletes. Major selection policy changes include the introduction of age-group related A and B Standards to be used throughout the international team qualifying process, along with a nine-month qualification window for international competitions.

The first international competition affected by the revised selection policy is the 2024 IWF World Junior Championships (Sept. 19-27 | León, Spain). The qualification period will include a Junior athlete “Super Session” at the 2024 Nationals Week in Pittsburgh, Pa. taking place on June 18 and 19, 2024. Athletes who wish to have their totals from the 2024 Nationals Week count for the 2024 IWF World Junior Championships must complete an interest form found here, no later than May 16, 2024 by 2:00 p.m. M.T. Those who complete this form by the deadline will be moved into Junior “Super Sessions” for Nationals. Totals of athletes who do not fill out the interest form by the mentioned deadline will not count as qualification totals for the 2024 IWF World Junior Championships.

“These policies ensure ongoing support of our athletes who currently represent Team USA in international competitions, and those who will in the future,” USAW CEO Matt Sicchio said. “I’m confident that the changes we’ve made will lead to our team’s continued growth and competitiveness on the international stage, and I’m proud of the work from our High Performance team to build this important foundation for the continued success of Team USA.”[1] 

“USA Weightlifting’s athletes have continued to perform at an increasingly high level over the past decade,” said Senior Director of Sport Performance Mike Gattone. “Our athletes regularly compete with the best in the world.  With this in mind, we are setting standards for international team qualifications based off what the best in the world are doing in each gender, weight, and age category. We’re also focusing on strengthening and expanding our athlete pipeline by giving athletes clear marks for them to hit as they progress in their careers. These standards, along with our strong athlete funding policy, will allow us to support our elite athletes and field highly competitive teams while continuing the high standard of success our athletes have established over the last two Olympic quads. We’ve had tremendous success on the platform and I’m excited to see that continue as we prepare for the pathway to LA2028.”

Athlete Stipend Policy

The USA Weightlifting Athlete Stipend Policy provides funding to elite athletes to support their training and international competition expenses, with an emphasis on those athletes who are likely to represent Team USA in the Olympic Games. The updated policy is designed specifically to support qualified athletes during the period after the 2024 Paris Olympic Games through December 31, 2024. We expect to release a new stipend system on or before July 1, 2024 that begins January 1, 2025.

USAW’s athlete stipend policy emphasizes support for those athletes most likely to participate at the Olympic Games, those athletes most likely to win medals at major IWF sanctioned international events, especially at the senior level, and those most likely to participate at Olympic qualifying events. To qualify for funding support, an athlete must achieve a qualifying total at an IWF-sanctioned event within the given time frame. Qualifying totals are established according to the IWF OQR, or in the case of developmental athletes, explicitly stated USAW-sanctioned national events. Qualified athletes reach one of three tiers and payments are made monthly.