Why Powerlifting Should Not Be in the Olympics Why Powerlifting Should Not Be in the Olympics

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Thread: Why Powerlifting Should Not Be in the Olympics

  1. #1
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    Default Why Powerlifting Should Not Be in the Olympics

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    by Myles Kantor

    A periodic topic in powerlifting discussions is the addition of the sport to the Olympic Games. Through the International Powerlifting Federation (hereafter the IPF), powerlifting is part of the World Games, which operates “under the patronage of the International Olympic Committee.” For some powerlifters, Olympic inclusion is a long-sought dream that would mean great things. In this article, I will discuss why IOC recognition would likely have horrible consequences for powerlifting.

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    What an unexpected joy it is to see Ludwig von Mises quoted in an article about powerlifting.

    And this:

    Whether a lifter uses steroids or not, he should not support a course of action that
    would trample upon another lifter’s freedom.
    is a beautiful sentiment.

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    I think this makes great points, but it would be a lot better if it weren't so thick with quotes of libertarian authors (particularly Austrian economists) in the beginning.

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    I like that about it, actually.

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    It is unfortunate that to unite or gain greater recognition powerlifting must become a monopoly. But, if we want to look at many things the way Myles does in this article, government (in any sense) would also seem to be a monopoly. International track and field is a monopoly. Olympic weightlifting is a monopoly. That is why these things are in the Olympics. Unification will require a social contract. And I'm not sure if valuing individual freedom about drug usage, etc. is more important than seeing the most talented lifters in the world competing on a single stage. It would be interesting to see how many top lifters in untested, multi-ply federations would react to (presumably) single ply, drug tested lifting being placed in the Olympics. I'm guessing many would take off some gear, get clean (if they weren't before), and jump into the possibility of being an Olympic athlete.

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    Before reading your article I hadn't considered this in such depth, thank you for the insight.

    Also, this would make a great verbal presentation to an audience that wasn't clued in to the topic as I myself was wondering where it was going for a minute. Very well done.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CPstrength View Post
    I'm guessing many would take off some gear, get clean (if they weren't before), and jump into the possibility of being an Olympic athlete.
    You think Olympic athletes don't use drugs?

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    You're right. Keeping up an appearance of being clean is more like it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    You think Olympic athletes don't use drugs?
    This reminds me of a great exchange in The Insider:

    Don Hewitt: Are you suggesting that she and Eric [Kluster] are influenced by money?

    Lowell Bergman: No, no of course they're not influenced by money. They work for free. And you are a volunteer executive producer.


    Specific to Olympic athletes and drugs, Charlie Francis noted back in 1990 in Speed Trap:

    "As I tracked the steroid trail--the network of coaches, doctors, and managers known to be involved with drugs--I found that it led to athlete after athlete. I arrived at a central premise that would guide my counsel for Angella [Coon], as well as for Ben [Johnson] and my other top male sprinters when they reached a similar crossroads: An athlete could not expect to win in top international competition without using anabolic steroids. Steroids could not replace talent, or training, or a well-planned competitive program. They could not transform a plodder into a champion. But they had become an essential supplement at the world-class level..."

    Or more recently in the context of cycling:

    "...dopers such as Thomas Frei and Bernhard Kohl explained in their confessions how easily test results could be manipulated, how they'd been caught only because they'd committed the kind of dumb human blunder any of us eventually would have at some point." (http://www.bicycling.com/news/pro-cy...dgame?page=1,2)

    And remember: Athletes use steroids because they hate our freedom.

    Nathan and mmmsteak, thanks for your kind words.

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    starting strength coach development program
    Quote Originally Posted by CPstrength View Post
    It would be interesting to see how many top lifters in untested, multi-ply federations....
    Here's what might be a surprising fact: the majority of affiliates in the IPF are untested. On the bottom of page 15, from the 2010 General Assembly minutes:

    "Thus the situation remains that probably less than 40% of IPF nations drug-test and that national positives are heading slightly upwards, rather than down." (http://www.powerlifting-ipf.com/file...GA_2010_HP.pdf)

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