Team USA Withdraws from U17 U15 Pan Ams Due to Safety Concerns

by USA Weightlifting

Colorado Springs (April 19, 2023) – After careful consideration USA Weightlifting announced today it will not send a delegation to the 2023 U17/U15 Pan American Youth Championships scheduled for August 12-17 because of safety concerns in the host city of Caracas, Venezuela.

USA Weightlifting regularly monitors the safety and security of its destinations as part of its high-performance operations, and the current situation in Venezuela raises significant concerns.

The U.S. State Department has issued a Level 4 (Do Not Travel) Warning for Venezuela due to the high risk of violent and serious crimes, terrorism, kidnapping, and wrongful detention of U.S. nationals.

Furthermore, the U.S. government warns of shortages of food, electricity, water, and medicines in Venezuela. It is also worth noting that there is no functioning U.S. Embassy in Venezuela and to obtain visas, the delegation would have to travel through Mexico.

“We are committed to the safety and security of our athletes and the team that supports them,” USA Weightlifting CEO Matt Sicchio said. “This isn’t a decision we take lightly. While we are disappointed, nothing is more important than the safety of our athletes, coaches, and staff.”

USA Weightlifting is in conversation with other weightlifting federations in the Pan American region to explore possible training or other opportunities should they too not attend the 2023 U17/U15 Pan American Youth Championships.

Should circumstances change and the competition moves to an alternate site, USA Weightlifting will consider any risks and could reconsider its status in the competition.

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