When the world’s strongest LGBTI people had their powerlifting competition scrapped from next year’s Paris Gay Games, they took matters into their own hands.
Now they are starting their own LGBT International Powerlifting Championships, in London in July 2017.
The new championship is the brainchild of powerlifters Chris Morgan and Dominic Patmore, who hold eight gold Gay Games medals between them.
Morgan told GSN: ‘The organizers of Paris Gay Games didn’t feel they had the people to put powerlifting on.
‘We even tried to organize it ourselves in Paris. I approached three different powerlifting clubs in Paris but they didn’t want to be associated with a gay competition.
‘Dominic and I looked at each other and said if we don’t do it, nobody else is going to do it. In order to make it work, we’ve committed to two years, 2017 and 2018.’
The Paris decision was a shock as powerlifting has been part of the Gay Games since the first one in 1982.
Future of LGBTI powerlifting
They hope the event will return to the Gay Games in future. But the London competition will also provide a chance for LGBTI powerlifters to discuss the future.
Morgan said: ‘There are 50 powerlifting federations in the world. We’ve always had problems with governing bodies sanctioning LGBT events. There’s a problem with medications and HIV people – some medications don’t get exemptions – and also the treatment of trans competitors.
‘We need to find a way to include everyone.’
Organisers are expecting up to 60 of the strongest LGBTI people from across the globe to come to London next July.
Athletes will come from Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, United Kingdom, United States of America and Slovenia.
First time competitors are promised a safe, friendly environment. And they get to rub barbells with World Champions and record holders.
The competition itself will be on 29 July at Bethnal Green Weightlifting Club in East London.
The weekend will also include a free coaching clinic, athletes banquet and closing party at Eagle Bar.
To find out more visit the LGBT International Powerlifting Championships site, Facebook Group or event page.