by Steve Gardner
by Al Myers
One of the BIG AWARDS given over the course of the 2012 IAWA World Championships was the IAWA Award of Merit, awarded to Steve Gardner. This is the second time this award has been given to someone in the IAWA. The first Award of Merit went to Art Montini at the 2010 World Champs. The Award of Merit is a Presidential Award, meaning that it is selected and presented on behalf of the IAWA President. I made presenting this prestigious IAWA award to Steve my first “order of business” since assuming the IAWA Presidency, after Steve “stepped down” as the IAWA President after 12 years of service (3 terms) 2 days prior at the Annual World Council Meeting.
There is NO ONE more deserving of this award than Steve. Steve has given SO MUCH of his time and energy to IAWA over the years. It is also fitting that he be awarded this special award on the 25th World Meet anniversary. I was honored to give his award speech. For those interested in hearing it, and missed it the first time around, here it is: http://www.usawa.com/the-iawa-president-steve-gardner/ . Steve is the ONLY IAWA member who has attended every IAWA Championship over the 25 year history of the IAWA. He has always been a participant in some manner – lifter, official, announcer, or scorekeeper!! I have a story I would like to share about Steve and his attendance at the IAWA World Championships (this one I left out of my presentation speech). In 1990 when the championships were held in Scotland, the World Championships conflicted on the same weekend with Steve’s Tug of War team who were defending their first National Title. Steve drove through the night to be at (and help) with the meet on the second day. He then attended the banquet after the meet with NO SLEEP the night before!! That’s commitment to IAWA and the membership!!
In closing, I would like to share a few words Steve had to say after receiving the IAWA Award of Merit: ”Al Myers took me by surprise when he presented me with the IAWA Award of Merit recognising my work with IAWA over the past 25 years. I thank Al and all of those involved very much. I have now ‘handed over the baton’ as IAWA International President to Al, after having first taken over from Howard Prechtel 12 years ago. I wish Al all the best and I am sure he will do a wonderful job for IAWA!”
IAWA has a rich history of leadership with past Presidents Howard Prechtel and Steve Gardner. I promise that I will “do my best” to continue what these two great leaders have accomplished.
by Steve Gardner
I have been asked to write a bit about the late Andy Goddard, as time moves on and newer members join, not everyone knows who he was and why we have a postal match named after him …….
I first met Andy 20 years ago when he wandered into my gym to watch an all round competition that was taking place. He lived locally and told me he had been in the Army for a number of years, where he was an Army light flyweight boxing champion. Andy was struck down with a stomach cancer and had an emergency operation, he nearly died, but he pulled through and was invalided out of the Armed Forces. This had all taken place a few years before he came to see me, and he told me he had been given the all clear from Cancer re occurring and thought he would like to start and do some training to see if he could lift with us.
I was delighted to help him and we cautiously worked together, but in no time it was obvious he was a strong little critter, and he took to weightlifting like a duck to water. Andy started to compete and he thrived on competition. Not only did Andy become a great champion, several times IAWA British Champion in the Open and many time World Champion in the Masters, he was a thoroughly nice man. He was a great friend to everyone, and always had a good word to say. Andy always helped to encourage new lifters in the sport and was the kind of guy who would do anything for anyone at the drop of a hat.
Andy’s favourite lifts were the Deadlift, Hacklift, Straddle and Trap Bar Deadlift, all of which he performed with more than 3 times bodyweight! Andy became a great friend of mine and my family too, he was like family to us. Andy was always there to help me every time we had a competition he would be helping me set up and move the weights, or collecting foreign lifters from the airport and helping me put them up. Andy was a quiet man, he wasn’t married but spent a lot of time treating and looking after others. It was the proudest moment for me to make the presentation to my friend when he was inducted into the IAWA(UK) Hall of Fame in 2007, this was a fitting reward for a true champion and holder of many, many records who had travelled the World and taken part in as many IAWA events as he could, a true all round weightlifter and supporter.
In 2008, Andy started to have some internal pain problems in his groin, though he insisted it did not stop him lifting, it continued to niggle at him and eventually the pains spread to his chest and back. Andy lifted in the World Championships in 2008 and was magnificent, but we knew all was not right. After countless visits to the Hospital they said they were not sure why he had the pain? We all worried in case there was something deeper, and in the end sure enough, eventually a scan showed a shadow near his spine. Andy went in and had some painful surgery on his back, the cancer was in his spine, it had returned after 20 years. Whilst operating they discovered that the cancer had spread to his organs and there was nothing anyone could do. They gave him six months, and that would have taken Andy up to his 50th birthday…he didnt make it, passing away just a few weeks before. It was so sad to see this wonderful light go out, we visited him and talked to him to the end, and were with him on his last day.
I had commented one time on Andys ‘Northern Ireland’ Campaign medal he had been awarded in the Army, having seen two tours of service over there in the early and mid 70’s, when he showed it to me I told him he should be justly proud of his achievements in such dangerous and difficult times. I was very moved when, after the funeral, his girlfriend said Andy had asked her to give the medal to me. I treasure it to this day.
We all miss Andy, and his belt and lifting boots remain at the gym so he is always with us. Andy loved competition, and the postal bearing his name is a fitting tribute to him.
by Al Myers
Most lifters involved with the USAWA know that Steve Gardner is our IAWA president. Steve is closing in on the end of his third four year term as the IAWA President. This is a total of 12 YEARS that he has committed to leading our organization! The IAWA (International All-Round Weightlifting Association) is the world umbrella organization of all-round weightlifting in which the USAWA is affiliated with. There are four major countries that are involved with the IAWA (United States, England, Scotland and Australia). Lifters from other countries (New Zealand, Ireland, Germany, and a few others) have competed in IAWA International events, but these countries do not have organized associations which oversee the all-round events within them. Steve’s Presidency followed that of Howard Prechtel. Howard also served the organization for 12 years.
Steve lives in Burton on Trent, England. He began living there when he was stationed there as a Police Officer out of the police academy. It was then that Steve realized that he had ability lifting weights. Steve started out as a competive powerlifter. In the early 80’s Steve won the British Title and represented Great Britain three years in a row at the European and World Championships with the WDFPF. He was the heavyweight Champion in 1990, winning the Championship in Belgium. Steve also won a Bronze Medal at the World Championships in Chicago in 1989 and a Silver Medal in France in 1991. He has held several European Powerlifting Records with the WDFPF (World Drug Free Powerlifting Federation).
Steve has also been involved in Strongman and the Highland Games. Most don’t know this about him, but I got this story out of him recently. In the early 80’s he competed with Geoff Capes and the International Touring team all over Great Britain, competing in Strongman and the Highland Games. At one competition he placed 4th in the World Lorry Pulling Championships and BEAT the then World’s Strongest Man Jon Pall Sigmarson!!!! Now that’s a good story.
Around 1985, Steve became involved with the All Rounds. This was before the IAWA was even organized. Steve was involved in the first IAWA events, and has competed in MANY international competitions. The following is a small list of his accomplishments within the IAWA. It would take pages and pages to list everything Steve has done in and for the IAWA!!!
- IAWA World Heavyweight Champion 17 times (won multiple World titles in the United States, England, Scotland, and Australia)
- Hosted the IAWA World Championships 3 times (2008, 2004, 1994) in Burton on Trent
- Hosted the IAWA Gold Cup World Record Breaker 4 times (2011, 2000, 1997, 1993) in Burton on Trent
- Promoted the IAWA World Postal Meet multiple times
- Instigated and developed the drug testing program within the IAWA, which insures that our sport offers drug-free competition
- Holder of multiple IAWA World Records (to many to count), and holder of the ALL TIME best Steinborn Lift at 200 kilograms
- Served on the IAWA Technical Committee and has been the person responsible for updating and maintaining the IAWA Rulebook
- Served as meet announcer and recorder numerous times at World Championships and Gold Cups
Steve also has a very active All-Round Weightlifting Club. He runs the Powerhouse Gym in Burton, and has since 1985. He has coached numerous lifters – powerlifters, Olympic lifters, and All-Rounders. Several of his lifters have went on to win National and World Titles. His gym has also been the host venue of several IAWA competitions. The 2011 IAWA Gold Cup was held in the Powerhouse Gym.
Steve has also been very involved in Tug of War. He began in 1975 as a member of the Holland Tug of War Club in Barton under Needwood. Reporting on Steves accomplishments with Tug of War is another story in itself!!! Steve is very involved in the Holland Sports Club. He has been a member for over 20 years and has been in the office as Chairman for the last 6 years. He was made an honorary life member in the Holland Sports Club in 2010 in recognition of the work he has done for the club. He is also a member of the East Staffs and District Sports Council, which awards sports grants and recognizes outstanding sports achievements. Steve has served on the Barton Parish Council for 8 years. He has held office as Vice Chairman for 2 years and then Chairman of the Council for another 2 years.
I have spent a lot of time in the last few years visiting with Steve. Steve contains a WEALTH of information about many topics. Last fall when I was in Burton for the Gold Cup Steve gave me a car tour of the town and surrounding area. I felt like I was getting a history lesson on local history from a professional tour guide! As it turns out, Steve finally told me that he has written three books that were published about the history of Barton under Needwood. So he is, in a sense, a professional tour guide!!
We are VERY fortunate as an organization to have Steve as our President. We owe him alot of thanks for everything he has done to better our organization. Very few people would “give” to an organization as much as Steve has done with IAWA. He made the trip to Australia to help coordinate and announce the competition – just because he wanted to help make the World Championhships a great event. I should mention that he didn’t even lift. Not many would do that. The IAWA has maintained WORLD-WIDE involvement because of Steve’s leadership and guidance. I feel I speak on behalf of the entire organization when I say this – we greatly apprecate the work Steve has done to make the IAWA a better organization.
by Al Myers
Last month at the IAWA World Championships in Perth, Australia, several of us rented a beach house together. I organized this beach house rental for a couple of reasons – to save a little money and also to spend some time with a few of the masterminds in the organization. Six of us spent close to 10 days living together – myself, Chad Ullom, USAWA President Denny Habecker, IAWA President Steve Gardner, English All Round lifting sensation Mark Haydock, and the MAN OF STEEL and all-round lifting legend Art Montini. This gave me the perfect opportunity to “pick their minds” and hopefully “steal” some secret lifting information from them. I liken myself to that of Robin Hood – but instead of stealing moneyI like to steal ideas from the rich and give to everyone else (ok – I won’t call you poor!). But I was also worried that this living arrangement would turn into an episode of BIG BROTHER in which we would be at “each other’s throats” by the end of the stay! I envisioned the alliances – the Americans versus the Brits (of which I knew ahead of time we would have the numbers on this one), the Wily Veterans (Denny, Steve, & Art) versus the Newbies (Chad, Mark, & myself), or the Drinkers versus the Nondrinkers (which would be pretty much everyone versus Art!!). Who would be the first one voted out of the house? Luckily, no “drama” ever developed throughout the week so I can’t report on any fights or anything like that.
But I did learn alot. Like I said, I spent every moment trying to steal some important secret from my roommates. And like Robin Hood, I plan to share with you everything I learned from these guys. I consider these guys the “movers and shakers” of All Round Lifting. Steve is closing in on 12 years as IAWA President and many, many years as the IAWA(UK) President. He has been involved in the sport for over 20 years. Denny is our USAWA President and filled with secrets – it’s just that he doesn’t always talk alot about things and I have to “pry” information out of him. Mark was the 2009 IAWA World Champ and I knew for sure he knew something that would be to my benefit in my training. Art is the “most seasoned” of all these guys and for sure he had something “to give up”. Now with Chad, well let’s just say, I’ve already stole all of his secrets, which isn’t much. I planned to strategically just use him for distraction purposes to give me “a little one on one” time with my targets.
When you live with “your competitors” for a week you really learn something about them. My primary focus of this investigation was with Steve. He is a born leader, takes charge in everything he does, and I was hoping to find the secret of his sucess or perhaps a weakness in his personality. Well, I only found a couple, and they were weaknesses. Just say I was dissappointed! First, he snores like a sailor blowing a fog horn. It didn’t take the rest of us long to realize that his sleeping arrangement needed to be a FAR DISTANCE from the rest of us. We put him in a room on the other side of the house which only was close to Denny’s room, and that was on purpose as well, because Denny was suffering from some bad case of bronchitis and was coughing non stop. He sounded like a dog with kennel cough. I often had to get up in the middle of the night (if you must know it was to pee) and the bathroom was close to their rooms. I listened for several minutes to these two “barking in the night” and I swear they were in unison with their nightly sounds. I think Denny was doing the harmonizing.
The only other weakness I found with Steve was his passion for beer. Now I’m not saying he is a drunk, he just enjoys his barley beverage. Chad and I even set up “a trap” for him to see if he would drink anything. We bought this really nasty beer that we wouldn’t even drink, and left it in the fridge. Sure enough, Steve finished off the six-pack while the rest of us watched in amazement. He even said he LIKED IT! He’s a passionate beer connoisseur.
Another of my “targets” was Mark Haydock. After watching him smash a couple of Chad’s World Records at the Gold Cup, I knew he must have some lifting secrets. It took me all week but I finally found out the reason for Mark’s lifting success. I caught him reading Steve Justa’s book ROCK IRON STEEL. I knew immediately that had to be his secret training program – why else would he have carted that book the entire way from England to Australia??? A couple of times I “took a peak” at this secret book of his when he wasn’t looking. Chad even snuck the book of to the private room a few times to read it. I bet Mark was rereading that book for meet motivation!! I got to get that book now so I will know Mark’s secret training programs. But I will say this about Mark, I had the feeling that he was studying me as well. He kept asking me questions that I was uncomfortable in answering. I felt like he was trying to steal MY SECRETS! He also bought this porridge that he was letting on as the “secret of his strength”. I had it one day for breakfast and it about made me puke. I think he was setting me up like I did Steve on the beer. But Chad had the porridge EVERY DAY convinced it would make him stronger. Everyone needs to have a gullible friend like Chad.
Like I said, Denny is a “tough nut to crack”. He often just “sits back” and laughs along with everyone else’s jokes, and never really contributes any jokes of his own. But I also found Denny’s secret to his strength during this week. Even though he may limp around and look like he needs help getting out of a chair, Denny is INDEED a very conditioned athlete! The gimpy persona is just a hoax. He acts this way just so his competition doesn’t take him too serious. I marveled at how he worked this to perfection at the meet against his arch rival, Frank Allen. Now, how do I know this? Well, after the meet Chad and I had planned to take a day trip to Rottnest Island, a small island off the coast of Perth. We planned to spend the day bicycling around the island, a distance of over 30 miles and up and down many hills. Denny asked to join us, and at first I was thinking this might be an issue. I was initially worried that he wouldn’t be able to “keep up” with Chad and me and we would need to call in the rescue unit. But after the day’s big bike ride, in which was as easy for Denny as a “walk in the park”, I knew he was just faking us out all the times in the past when he would wobble around like a rookie on rollerskates. On the ferry ride back to Perth, I asked him how he was in such great shape and he told me that he used to ride his bike 100 miles a day!!! What??? I’m still “tossing that around” in my mind. Just visualizing Denny in my mind biking 100 miles makes my heart go into palpatations. It was at that point that I decided I wasn’t going to admit to Chad and Denny that a couple of times I had to get off my bike and walk it up a couple of big hills.
With Art, I already knew his secret of his strength, and it just doesn’t work for me. I discovered it a couple of years ago when I stayed at his house for a meet in Ambridge. It involves getting up really, really early to train (3-4 AM) and then eating donuts afterwards. I’m going to save that secret for later in my life and then “pull it out of the bag” when I need it. But I will say this about Art, he acts MUCH YOUNGER than his biological age and there must be something to that as well in his secret to success on the platform. I should also mention Art’s special spaghetti, which must have something to do with his lifting longevity. I have had it before and he made it for us in Perth. Art makes some of the BEST spaghetti I have ever tasted.
Who did I forget? Oh Chad. Well like I said earlier, Chad has no secrets when it comes to training. But I do know his main weakness – ICECREAM! We had to make several stops during the week for icecream and if he keeps this up I will not have to worry about him because he will be out of my weight class and get KILLED on the Lynch Formula! There are other things about Chad - but they are blood oath stories so I won’t tell.
I will say that week in Australia was one of the most fun weeks of my life!!
by Al Myers
Last month at the IAWA World Championships in Perth, Australia a new World Champ was crowned. The new champion, Steve Sherwood, is very deserving of this title. Steve is an amazing lifter, and he sure doesn’t look his age. He is listed at 60 years of age, but physically he doesn’t look a day over 35! Steve hails from Hull, England and has been lifting his entire life. Recently at the 2011 Gold Cup held in Burton, England Steve was inducted into the IAWA(UK) Hall of Fame. I was honored to be able to be in attendance at this event. Steve has a great all round lifting resume – but surprisingly this is his FIRST TIME being crowned the Best Overall Lifter at the World Championships. He was third overall in 2010 in Glasgow, and third overall at the 1994 Championships in Burton. Before that, he was second overall in the 1993 World Championships in Walpole, MA and 5th overall at the World’s in Twickenham, England. You will notice that there has been a “break in the action” for Steve of several years of World Competition, but he has returned to the platform with the same success as when he left. He has been close so many times to winning the overall, so I congratulate him on finally achieving this highest yearly honor in the IAWA. The way he lifted in Australia I predict it won’t be the last of overall victories for him. I really thought at the time that his margin of victory (872 pts to my 793 pts for second place) might be the largest of All-Time in the IAWA World Championships, but after doing some research on this, I see that it is the THIRD largest margin of victory. In 2008, Rick Meldon won by a margin of 85 points, and in 1995 Bob Hirsh won by a margin of 122 points.
On top of all Steve’s success as a lifter, he is one of the most modest guys I have ever met and a true sportsman. He is the perfect example of what a CHAMPION should be like. Congratulations Steve!
by Al Myers
This is not intended to be a meet report, but rather “my take” on the 2011 IAWA Gold Cup held last weekend in Burton on Trent, England. First of all, initially I was not planning on attending this meet since I’m going to the IAWA World Championships in Australia next month. But when my good “mate” (that’s american for friend, haha) James Gardner invited me to stay at his place I could not turn him down. And after the fun-filled weekend I had, I’m glad I went! I made a quick trip out of it, only staying for the weekend. I call a trip like this “pulling an Art” – after the the MAN OF STEEL Art Montini and his reputation of going oversees to a big meet and only staying for the meet itself. This weekend was EXTRA SPECIAL for me since I had my oldest daughter Emily traveling with me. This was her first weightlifting meet EVER, and she only agreed to compete because that was the stipulation I had for taking her along!
Now for a few general words on the Gold Cup. This meet is one of TWO big IAWA competitions held each year (the World Championships is the other). It was started years ago by Howard Prechtel as a meet to celebrate World Record Lifts by World Champions. Initially, the only lifters who were eligible to compete were current World Champions. A rule from the beginning in the Gold Cup is that the lifter must OPEN on his first attempt at a World Record in the lift of his choosing. Also in the beginning each lifter could chose only one lift to perform their World Record in. You could call it the “ELITE OF RECORD DAYS” . Since then the stipulations have been lessened and anyone can compete in the Gold Cup, regardless of whether they are a current World Champion or not. If a lifter can not find a World Record they can break, they can enter the Silver Cup instead, and go for a National Record, or even just a personal best. This way no one is excluded from this prestigious international event. Also, at several Gold Cups of recent, time has allowed the lifters to have a second choice lift which they can perform as well.
I felt the turnout for this meet was very good - 25 lifters took part. Our IAWA President Steve Gardner was the meet promoter, and as he always does, promoted an exceptional meet. I was glad the meet was held at his club in Burton, the Powerhouse Gym. I like to experience the feeling of lifting in other all round clubs. You feel “connected” to their involvement in All-Round Weightlifting. Several outstanding records where set by the lifters in attendance. One of the neat things about a Gold Cup is that you get to see lifters perform the lifts that they are the best at, and in turn get to witness some great lifts. The Gold Cup is not like any ole record day where the lifters go about their business lifting and doing records in a chaotic fashion. One platform is set up and when it is YOUR time to lift you get it all to yourself while everyone else watches. You perform all three (or four) of your attempts back to back, and the stage is all yours. This allows one to watch EVERY LIFTER and gives each lifter a little extra recognition. Like I said earlier, the Gold Cup is the ELITE OF RECORD DAYS. The experience is WAY MORE than just setting a World Record, as it is about being part of something special offered by the IAWA. I highly recommend that every All Round lifter go to the Gold Cup at least once in their life.
Now on to the lifts done. I have done a lot of thinking what I would consider the BEST RECORDS of the day were. This was a hard decision for me because I was very impressed with EVERY lifter, but I did come up with my TOP FIVE. My vote for the NUMBER ONE GOLD CUP RECORD was done by James Gardner. James first lift was the newly formed IAWA lift, the Turkish Get Up. In this he did the MOST ever done with a very fine lift of 70 KG. But that’s not the lift that impressed me the most. It was his second choice lift, the One Hand Fulton Bar Deadlift. In this lift he lifted an UNBELIEVEABLE 96.5 KG (212 pounds). This record is now the most EVER lifted in this lift, exceeding Frank Ciavattone’s mark of 210 pounds. I consider Frank the BEST ONE HAND GRIP LIFTER in the history of the USAWA, so this really says something about James’ achievement in this lift. Another lifter and lift that really impressed me, and was my second pick, was Mark Haydock of England. Mark performed a 210 KG Front Squat breaking the previous World Record in this lift held by the current IAWA World Champion Chad Ullom. I officiated Chad when he set his mark, and I remember how deep he took his front squat when he did it. I was glad to see Mark break Chad’s record by taking his front squat just as deep. My “third choice” in best records goes to England’s Steve Sherwood and his Ciavattone Grip Deadlift of 180 KG. That is pushing 400 pounds for a lifter who is 60 years old and only weighs 80 KG! What a grip!! Later that night at the Gold Cup banquet Steve was inducted into the IAWA(UK) Hall of Fame, and it is no wonder why. He lifts poundages that I would not expect him to lift. He second choice lift of a 140 KG Fulton Bar Ciavattone Grip Deadlift was impressive as well. Number 4 on my list goes to John Gardner and his 140 KG (309#) middle fingers straddle deadlift. I would call John the “sleeper” in this group of great lifters because I didn’t expect a lift like that out of him. That is a WORLD CLASS finger lift and on top of that, it appeared to me to be a submaximal effort on his part. He made it look way to easy! The last of my top five goes to the Scottish lifter Andy Tomlin and his 185.5 KG left handed deadlift. Breaking 400 pounds in the one handed deadlift is always very impressive to watch, and currently there are only a small group of IAWA lifters who can do it. To make Andy’s lift even that more impressive, is that he suffered a back injury a week earlier and wasn’t sure he would even be able to compete! I will tell you this, later that night at the banquet when he was feeling really good (after a few pints of instant pain relief) he was really talking big – and issued a 2-man one arm deadlift challenge against Chad and myself at next year’s Gold Cup in Scotland. He recruited Steve Angell to be his partner before even asking him, and of course I couldn’t turn him down even before asking Chad to be my partner. Before long another “team” joined in this challenge as well (Mark Haydock and James Gardner). So it looks like the 2012 Gold Cup is setting up to be a BIG SHOW of international competition in the 2-man one arm deadlift. I did remind Andy that Chad and I have the BEST MARK ever set in this lift (done last year at the 2010 Gold Cup) of 800 pounds, so they better be in form “to bring it”.
I could go “on and on” about last weekends trip but I’m going to stop at this. I especially want to thank Steve Gardner for his efforts in promoting this outstanding meet. It was a meet I will never forget.
by Steve Gardner
The 2011 Gold Cup
The lifting at this year’s Gold Cup was outstanding, the list of different lifts attempted was both varied and very interesting to witness. During the day we were treated to several attempts on lifts that were in fact the heaviest ever done in any weight class on those particular disciplines. Junior lifter: Emily Myers (from the USA) at 19 years old, was the youngest competitor, whilst Frank Allen from England, William Wright from Scotland and Denny Habecker from the USA were the most senior competitors, all at 69 years young. After the lifting, the banquet dinner was held at Branston Golf and Country Club, where everyone had a wonderful time, and Steve and Karen Gardner were assisted at the presentation by their Grand Son: 5 years old Dominic, who made a good job of shaking everyones hand, and when Paula asked if she could have a kiss, he simply replied ‘No’ with no expression at all (give him a few years Lol!)
The IAWA (UK) Hall of Fame 2011 Induction
The IAWA(UK) HOF bi- annual Induction ceremony was carried out at the Awards Banquet at Branston Golf and Country Club, following the presentation for the Gold Cup. Inductees were: Sam Hills (awards presented by Frank Allen and Steve Gardner) and Steve Sherwood (awards presented by Steve Andrews and Steve Gardner). Steve Sherwood from Hull in Yorkshire has been a great ambassador for all round lifting, and was coached by the late Harold Akrill, and trained with Clive Nevis. Many times British and IAWA World Champion, Steve has always been a master technician on the lifts, and his one hand deadlift record of 200 kilos at 70 kilos bodyweight has stood for many years. Sam Hills from Hastings in East Sussex has been trained by the great Mike Archer (inducted member). Sam has been a great supporter of all round weightlifting, and counts amongst his favourite moments in the sport, as being presented with the award for being the overall best lifter at the IAWA World Championships in Australia.
RESULTS OF THE 2011 GOLD CUP - IAWA 2011 Gold Cup World Record Breakers
by Steve Gardner
I attended the Castlemilk Gym Weightlifting Clubs annual dinner in Glasgow on Friday 14th January. It was a very pleasant evening, and after dinner William Wright made the presentations of the clubs awards for their acheivements through 2010. Andy Tomlin was the winner of the overall clubman of the year cup. At the end of the presentation I took them all by complete surprise when I told them that in fact myself and Karen had not just travelled up to see them and enjoy their evening with them, I had another duty to perform. It was well worth the trip to Scotland to see the expression on young Robbie Hughes’s face when I presented him with the wonderful Health and Strength Cup, which is presented annually for the best performance by a IAWA(UK) Junior lifter!
by Al Myers
I am a little embarrassed to admit this – but the 2010 IAWA Gold Cup in Walpole, Massachusetts was the FIRST Gold Cup that I have attended. Truthfully, in the past I just couldn’t understand why someone would go to a meet where ONLY one (or two if time permitted) lifts for records were allowed. It just didn’t seem to make sense to me – especially since I could go to a local record day or a meet and set SEVERAL RECORDS. So I always passed on attending “the cup”. But now since I have been to one, I now understand the significance of this meet and have a completely different feeling about it. The Gold Cup is one of only two IAWA Events (the World Championships being the other) that is contested each year. It signifies the excellence of our lifts and recognizes those that are representative of our organization on an International level. By attending, it shows that you are one of the elite lifters of the organization. The Gold Cup was initially organized by Howard Prechtel several years ago with the concept that this meet would allow lifters who were World Champions to come to perform their BEST lifts for records, and in the process have a RECORD DAY that was the BEST of the BEST, and thus give our organization more exposure by demonstrating the tremendous abilities of the lifters within our organization.
What all can I say about the efforts of Frank Ciavattone for organizing this great event??? Frank has been a National and World Meet promoter for many years, and his experience of putting on a TOP QUALITY EVENT was evident. Frank had an excellent venue for us to compete in. It was held at the Italian American Club in Walpole (which is just outside of Boston). Lots of room for lifting and viewing, a great platform to lift on, and plenty of weights. Our IAWA President Steve Gardner handled the scoretable and announcing and kept things flowing very well. Judy Habecker assisted with the scoring and does more “behind the scenes” than anyone else in the USAWA. Thank you Judy from all of us!!! Eighteen lifters competed and set many new IAWA World Records. I really enjoyed seeing the variety in lifts performed – from deadlifts to presses, to unique lifts like the Clean and Press on Knees. Some of the lifters were “seasoned” competitors like Art Montini and Denny Habecker, while others were still teenagers, like Joe Ciavattone Jr, Jonathon Ciavattone, Frankie Ciavattone, and Kohl Hess. The age of the lifters varied between 16 and 83 years of age.
What were the highlights of the meet? That is a hard question to answer because it seemed every Gold Cup Record was a highlight. Things that really impressed me where: seeing Frank do 160 kg in his signature lift – the one armed deadlift, watching the wily Dennis Mitchell performing 600 reps in the Roman Chair Situp at the age of 78, and seeing Art perform a stiff-legged deadlift of 100 kg with ease. Most guys his age couldn’t bend over to pick up 50 pounds and he does over 200 pounds with straight legs!! Of course, I really enjoyed watching Joe Ciavattone Jr. deadlifting over 500 pounds for the first time! I very clearly remember when I did that for the first time as a teenager. That had to be one of the best lifts of the day. My father LaVerne attended the meet with me and I talked him into lifting. He did a 187# one handed Ciavattone Deadlift. At the awards banquet when he was presented his trophy he remarked to the group that it was the first trophy he had won in a weightlifting meet! And speaking of trophies, Frank went way beyond expectations with the trophies he gave out. He awarded EVERYONE a large Gold Cup in appreciation of their performances. Just another little thing that SHOWS why the Gold Cup means just a little bit more than another ordinary record day! Chad and I were the only ones to do a two man lift for IAWA record. We decided to do a 2-man deadlift, after first wanting to do a 2-man one arm deadlift (but it is not an IAWA lift). After doing 1000# in the 2-man deadlift, we were allowed to do our 2-man one arm deadlift for exhibition and USAWA Record. I wanted to do this lift for Frank – and thankfully (because I didn’t want to let Frank down) – we got our 800 pounds. Another great performance of the day was John McKean’s one arm dumbbell deadlift of 266# (I know his inspiration was that DINO GYM SWEATSHIRT he was wearing!). This broke a record he set over 10 ago – which shows he is getting better with age. I really enjoyed getting to FINALLY meet Joe Ciavattone. We always seem to “just miss” each other by attending different meets, and he is the great lifter and person I expected him to be. His passion for lifting shows when he is busy coaching his boys.
Afterwards, Frank hosted the banquet at his house. That is the type of generous person Frank is – opening up his house to his lifting friends. The food was fabulous!! Frank’s Mom and his sister Cara prepared an Italian Feast that had everyone “licking their chops”! I know I ate my share. After the awards were given out, I conducted the ceremony in which Scott Schmidt was officially inducted into the USAWA Hall of Fame. Scott gave a very thankful response in appreciation. I will have more on that in a future USAWA Daily News story. Another special moment for me was when Frank presented me with a special award thanking me for my work and efforts in the USAWA. It meant more to me than the big Gold Cup I received for lifting.
NOW I know what the IAWA Gold Cup is all about, and it is more than just going to a meet to set a record. It is about being part of an elite competition promoted by the International All-Round Weightlifting Association.
COMING SOON – VIDEOS FROM THE GOLD CUP
by Al Myers
This is the time to start thinking about “getting your team around” for the World Team Postal Meet promoted by the IAWA President Steve Gardner. Last year this postal meet was a huge success for the IAWA. For those of you that are new to the USAWA, the IAWA (International All-Round Weightlifting Association) is the international organization the USAWA belongs to. The IAWA oversees the international competitions such as the World Championships and the Gold Cup. This IAWA World Team Postal Meet gives us (the USAWA) the opportunity to compete in a World competition without ever leaving the confines of our own gym! There really is no excuse not to enter this one. The format is for teams of three to enter, but Steve has opened it up to individuals as well to enter. The results will contain both the placings of the 3-person teams and the individual rankings. So, even if can’t find two other team members, compete and send in your results. I want to remind you of some “differences” between this meet and other USAWA meets:
1. You MUST have two USAWA certified officials (who both pass your lift) judge your lifts instead of just one official.
2. You are allowed FOUR attempts instead of the typical three attempts allowed.
3. Scoring age adjustments will be done according to the IAWA age allowances, which is slightly different from the USAWA age allowances.
All of the lifts Steve picked for this postal competition are easy to perform without much specific training. All you got to do is line up a training day where everyone in your group can be present, and DO the lifts! The specific entry information is located in the section “USAWA Future Events “. The deadline for submission is the last day of September.
Tribute to Andy Goddard
by Steve Gardner
It will be a year on March 26th since I said goodbye to my friend Andy. The Gym has not been the same without him, but we carry on with Andy always in our thoughts.
I have decided to run a postal competition as a tribute to Andy Goddard. The lifts will be simple and contain two of his favorites: the Bench Press and the Two Hands Deadlift.
I am inviting friends of Andys, and all IAWA members in general, to take part in this ‘Tribute Lift for Andy’. Lifts are to be completed by the end of March. One referee will be ok for the tribute lifts, but if you want the lifts to be considered for record purposes they must be clearly marked as refereed by two officials.
Remember – it doesn’t matter how much you lift or whether you are not fully training or injured. Just submit token results if you can’t do more, just to be a part of our ‘Tribute to Andy’.
There will be an Andy Goddard Trophy kept at the Powerhouse Gym and the overall Winners name will go on that trophy!
by Al Myers
The long standing debate on whether the age adjustment should be changed was resolved this month at the World Council Meeting held in conjunction with the IAWA World Championships. This discussion started last year at the World Meeting, which was held in England, by Wilf Chapman of Australia. Wilf felt that the older lifters were not being compensated adequately by the age adjustment. After discussion, the membership felt that this needed to be looked into further before any changes would be made.
Steve Gardner and Graham Saxton of England, and myself of the United States, conducted separate studies on the age adjustment. Both of our studies supported that the age correction formula that has been used is very inadequate for lifters over the age of 65. These studies were presented to the membership at the Meeting this year, and finally, this issue has been resolved! The USAWA and the IAWA(UK) have always used different age correction formulas, but the IAWA has previously used the USAWA formula, which gives 1 percent per year starting at the age of 40. The IAWA(UK) gives 1 percent per year starting at age 36 and then 2 percent per year starting at age 66.
What was agreed upon by the membership was a compromise of these two correction systems. Now for IAWA competitions, a lifter receives 1 percent per year starting at the age of 40, and at the age of 66 receives 2 percent.
Now my opinion..
I truly believe that for our organization to grow we must always tilt the formula to allow a strong young lifter to beat a strong older lifter. Best lifters should be decided by the weight lifted and not by a formula. However, the previous system didn’t even allow the older lifter (over the age of 65) to even be in consideration. Contrary to what those on the “other side” of this argument (not wanting to see any changes) might say – this small change will not let older lifters easily beat young lifters!! Just look at the studies and the numbers and you will see what I am saying. Giving a 70 year old lifter 36 percent adjustment is still not much compared to what they really should be getting if we want complete equality (the studies showed that 90 percent correction is needed for a 70 year old). By the way, these studies were done using data from the USAWA and IAWA Record Lists which provided over 20 years of data collection!! I base my opinion on numbers and statistics and not “gut feelings”.
I was also glad to see the age correction adjustment still starting at the age of 40. This seems logical to me – as it is the time a lifter enters the Masters division and becomes eligible for Masters age group records. Now I hope that the USAWA and the IAWA(UK) will come together on this and both adopt the IAWA system for age correction. Unification on this would be a good thing for the IAWA.