With the 2017 World Championships and the American Open Finals in our rearview mirror, the future has never looked brighter for Olympic Weightlifting in the US. Records fell, and American lifters took historic podium finishes, capped off with Sarah Robles sweeping the gold medals in her division.
With nine nations banned from competition as a result of sanctions from the World Anti-Doping Agency and the International Weightlifting Federation, these may have been the cleanest World Championships in the modern history of the sport. But we’re a long way off from declaring this a post-doping era, and it remains to be seen if weightlifting can recover its image from that of a dirty sport, like baseball and cycling have struggled to do.
National-level weightlifting coach Daniel Bell of sat down with me to recap Worlds, talk about the future of the sport in America, and explore the damage that doping culture has had on even clean athletes. We also cover why women are flocking to (and succeeding in) weightlifting faster than men, why it’s stupid to have PRs in your assistance exercises, and the dilemma of transgender athletes in competitive sports.