Statement by Pyrros Dimas, three-time Olympic Gold Medalist and President of the Greek Weightlifting Federation:
“First as an athlete and Olympian, and more recently as President of the Greek Federation, I have dedicated my life to Weightlifting. When the new IWF Constitution is in place and with confirmation of the next elections, it will be my greatest honour to stand for IWF Presidency. Our wonderful sport and its privileged place on the Olympic program is threatened and we must do everything in our power to ensure the essential reforms are implemented properly and urgently – as rightly guided by the International Olympic Committee.
My plan is to consult and listen to the views of as many National Federations as possible – it is vital that the future vision of the IWF addresses the needs of all our Members. The credibility of IWF and Weightlifting has eroded so it is fundamental to rebuild trust and become an International Federation that can be respected again. A change of leadership and culture is essential and we must reset the Federation with better values, improved governance and real integrity.
As an Olympian, I know how important it is for athletes to be heard so we must empower them with a proper voice. Without athletes, our sport is nothing so we must treat them with the respect they deserve. The brand and reputation of Weightlifting have been tarnished by mis-management, doping scandals and in-fighting. This must stop. With fresh leadership and a new approach we can set a new course for Weightlifting as a clean, revitalised and united sport. We need to accelerate participation, review the presentation of our events, improve our global marketing and digital offering and harness the power of data in an ethical way to understand and grow our fan base. There is so much untapped potential in our sport and I will implement new commercial ideas and sponsor opportunities so all Member Federations benefit from greater revenues and funding.
As an Olympic medalist, I know never to give up. Weightlifting is threatened in the Olympic Games but I will continue to fight to save the sport I love. It has given me so much and, with new values and greater transparency, I believe Weightlifting will enjoy a prosperous future for many more generations of athletes and fans – both women and men. I will now discuss my plans and listen to our valued Member Federations and other key stakeholders – my door is always open to hear feedback and learn new ideas. In the coming weeks, I look forward to sharing more details of my new vision for Weightlifting.”