(Columbus, Ohio) – The Arnold Sports Festival, the largest multi-sport event in the nation, will host the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Weightlifting and the 2012 National Weightlifting Championships in Columbus, Ohio from March 2-4.
The U.S. Olympic Team Trials and the National Championships will highlight the Arnold Weightlifting Championships, an event that debuted in 2003 and has grown to be one of the Arnold Sports Festival’s most popular competitions. The Arnold Weightlifting Championships are run by the Columbus Weightlifting Club, which also will manage logistics for the Olympic Trials and National Championships.
Competition will be held in 15 bodyweight categories as top Olympic hopefuls vie for berths on the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team that will compete in London as well as National Championship titles. More than 200 athletes are expected to compete in this event, held at the Greater Columbus Convention Center, with the hopes of representing Team USA at the Games.
“Holding the U.S. Olympic Team Trials during the Arnold Sports Festival will give our athletes the chance to compete in a first-class city in front of tens of thousands of people who come through the venue,” said USA Weightlifting CEO John Duff. “Columbus put together an excellent bid proposal and we are looking forward to collaborating with the Greater Columbus Sports Commission and the staff of the Arnold as we select our team for the 2012 Olympic Games.”
The bid to host the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Weightlifting and the 2012 National Championships was a joint venture between the Greater Columbus Sports Commission, the Arnold Sports Festival and the Columbus Weightlifting Club.
“The Arnold Sports Festival is proud that USA Weightlifting has chosen Columbus, Ohio and the Arnold Weightlifting Championships to host these two prestigious national competitions,” said Jim Lorimer, co-founder of the Arnold Sports Festival. “We look forward to hosting our country’s best weightlifters as the U.S. Olympic Team is chosen in Columbus during the Arnold Sports Festival.”
The U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Weightlifting will be the most prestigious weightlifting event held in Columbus since the World Weightlifting Championships in 1970 – an event that Lorimer also promoted.
“We’re tremendously proud to bring this competition to Columbus and to the Arnold Sports Festival,” said Mark Cannella, meet director for the Arnold Weightlifting Championships and president of the Columbus Weightlifting Club. “There’s no better venue and no better group of volunteers in the world to put on such an esteemed event than we have right here at the Arnold Weightlifting Championships.”
The Greater Columbus Sports Commission initially bid on the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Wrestling and Weightlifting when the two competitions were packaged together. However, USA Wrestling and USA Weightlifting eventually split the competitions into separate events.
“Columbus is proud to host the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Weightlifting as part of the Arnold Sports Festival, one of the city’s signature sports weekends,” said Linda Shetina Logan, executive director of the Greater Columbus Sports Commission. “Our partnership with the Arnold Sports Festival and the Columbus Weightlifting Club showcases the support of our sports community which, along with our top-notch facilities and the commitment from our entire city, will produce an unparalleled experience for our future Olympians, coaches and fans.”