The 2023 EWF Cup in Olympia has weaved a new chapter of Olympic splendor right in its heart, where modern legends have walked and performed.
On Thursday, September 28, the Olympia City Mayor, the weightlifting great Pyrros Dimas and the EWF delegation addressed a press conference, but now can be confirmed the achieved results exceeded the expectations expressed before the start of the innovative project.
The competition could not have started without the support of some sustained educational activities, on Friday, September 29, after the presentation of the new format of the continental competition promoted in the opening speech of the EWF President and the EWF Secretary. Pyrros Dimas declared himself more than honored and happy for Greece and Olympia to host this first edition of the EWF Cup, a message followed by the greetings of the IWF by First Vice-President Ursula Papandrea. The speeches were concluded by the wishes of a very special guest, Mr. Peter Brull, the sports director of the European Olympic Committees, who honored the EWF with his presence and who appeared satisfied with the steps taken by the weightlifting continental body for the development of the sports on the old continent.
The seminar sessions have been launched by an impressive and inspiring presentation of the lecture Dr. Evangelis Albanidis from the Democritus University of Thrace on the “Humanistic symbolism of Olympia and the Olympic values”. Important information about general Anti-Doping topics and prohibited substances list, were provided by Ms. Sophia Manolopoulou – Head of scientific support and quality in the Hellenic National Anti-Doping Agency, in the second working session. The educational activity ends with the intervention of the IWF Medical Committee Member, Dr. Georgios Tsikouris, who captivated the attention of the participants with the presentation and practical part about the arthroscopy for weightlifter with hip injuries.
Twenty mixed genders multinational teams coming from twelve European countries and the IWF Refugee Team, each with two competitors, one female and one male, competed in the event. The teams selected by random in a drawing ceremony and named after famous Greek ancient cities. The random teams were draw by two Greek police officers who were kindly invited by EWF to perform the drawing which was greeted with thunderous applause from the participants..
40 weightlifters from France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Israel, Moldova, Romania, Spain, Cyprus, Turkey, Bulgaria, Poland, and Greece evolved with enthusiasm in the new format competition. Furthermore, the presence of two athletes from the IWF Refugee Team adds to the event’s relevance and global impact.
All event participants got a unique opportunity to visit the archaeological site of Ancient Olympia stadium. During the group visit of Ancient Olympia the Photo shooting of the teams was organized.
Delegates from the EWF paid special respect to Pierre de Coubertin.
Olive trees were also planted on the International Olympic Academy’s famous soil.
The olive tree represents friendship and reconciliation, cleansing and healing, light, victory and wealth, and, most importantly, peace.
Saturday’s activities began in the morning with the first of five sessions. Each athlete had a five-minute window to complete the snatch, followed by a five-minute opportunity to complete the clean and jerk trying to achieve the best result through no more than three attempts per each style. Athletes were pushing themselves to their limits and reveling in the competitive spirit, while the drama of the event was palpable.
Among fans and supporters were not only teammates, but also students from the International Olympic Academy excited by demonstration of power and brilliance.
The IWF Athletes Commission Chairman, Forrester Osei from Ghana, added to the event’s energy. Osei was essential in energizing the crowd, interviewing athletes, and boosting the competitive spirit, together with Damjan Canzek from Slovenia and Alexandru Padure from Romania, both members of the EWF’s family.
Olympic champion Zygmunt Smalcerz, one of the event’s coaches, expressed his happiness with how the EWF Cup went. He said: “The commitment, the enthusiasm, and the spirit — it’s been an experience like no other. Olympia is a shining example of athletic brilliance once more. Weightlifting need this.”
As the day concluded, the winners emerged. Toma Loredana and Lucas Muller from Team KNOSSOS clinched the top spot with an impressive 645.98 Sinclair points. They were closely followed by Hernandez Alba and Arthur Mugurudumov from Team THIVA, who secured 644.63 points. The third spot was claimed by Team ATHINA, represented by Erin Barton and Hardal Ferdi, with a score of 643.54 points.
In a gracious acknowledgment of their unparalleled prowess, the premier teams were bestowed with monetary honors: Euro 4000 for the champion team, Euro 2000 for the second, and Euro 1000 for the third ranking team. This gesture elegantly underscores the event’s dedication to celebrating and rewarding the zenith of athletic excellence.
Notably, the best female athlete accolade was clinched by Toma Loredana from Romania, who showcased 278.59 Sinclair points. On the men’s front, Robu Marin from Moldova emerged as the best male athlete with a commanding score of 415.74 points.
The athletes applauded the event’s unusual format and flawless organization in unison, their faces shining with perspiration and satisfaction. To ensure that the torch of invention never goes out, EWF has extended an invitation to all participants in its usual collaborative spirit.
One thing is certain as the 2023 EWF Cup in Olympia comes to a close: the ancient city, with its unique fusion of antiquity and tenacity, will always be the world’s greatest arena for athletic brilliance.
Cooperative method guarantees that the weightlifting community remains at the center of the EWF’s efforts to develop and improve the sport by inviting all participants, including athletes and coaches, to express their thoughts and proposals for upcoming competitions.
“Probably the biggest success of this event is the unity that was achieved among the participants”, remarked the EWF President Conflitti. “It was wonderful to see a competitor from one country supporting competitor from another country. It demonstrated once again that sport has no boundaries. I am grateful to everyone who recognized the significance of this event, 12 national federations, as well as to IWF Refugee team who all participated at this event. EWF expresses special gratitude to International Olympic Academy who offered their resources to make athletes dreams a reality, to compete in Ancient Olympia, and to Greek Weightlifting Federation for their great efforts”, EWF President concluded.
“We surveyed the leaders of the participating teams”, said the EWF General Secretary, Milan Mihajlovic. “The fact that some of them evaluated the event as a 6 on a scale of 1 to 5 perhaps best exemplifies how they considered the event. We are overjoyed by the athletes’ and coaches satisfaction, concludes Mihajlovic, also addressing an optimist SEE YOU NEXT YEAR!