Interview with WPC President Mr Mike Sweeney before the Europe Cup WPC/AWPC (1-4 of December, 2016, Kursk, Russia)
Interview with Mr Mike Sweeney, WPC President, for “Iron World” on the threshold of the Open Europe powerlifting, benchpress, deadlift and multy-repeat benchpress Cup WPC/AWPC that will take place on Dec. 1-4th 2016 in Kursk within the annual International Sports Festival “NOSOROG PRO-8”.
*Interviewed by Ms Marina Kamyshnikova
On the eve of the Sports Festival that will include the Open Europe armlifting Cup WAA, Open Kursk region bodybuilding and fitness IFBB, Open Black soil mas-wrestling Cup, we managed to talk to Mr Mike Sweeney, WPC President. Mike Sweeney is a unique person who heads both the WPC Federation and referee board; without whom it is hard to hold international competitions. Also, Mike still successfully competes at WPC/AWPC tournaments, boosting a fine example of sports longevity.
Iron World: Let’s begin with the question re. the World Championship that took place in August 2016 in Kursk. How do you evaluate such a significant and expected event of the year? Please, summarize.
Mike Sweeney: The World Championship 2016 was a cheerful and successful event, for all that – it is the main tournament of the year. The competition was high, but Russian sportsmen are strong and promising. A great deal of work was done by organizers; it went off without a hitch. The Congress of the WPC/AWPC selects only the very best meet directors with a proven history of success. Igor and his staff are at the top of the list. Every detail was engineered to give the sportsman the extreme and ultimate power lifting experience. We listen when the sportsman speaks and take action!
I.W.: The World Championship has surprised by the number of its participants. What’s the reason for it?
M.S.: If fact, The World Championship has recorded a phenomenal number of participants – more than 1300 athletes from 20 different countries (USA, Germany, France, Mongol, Iran and others). Every championship is designed to be more improved than the one before. After each championship I review all the comments and we discuss what needs to be done in the future. Power lifters that come to one of our International Championships tell their friends and we grow and grow. We have to accept that sport industry is growing up and it’s normal.
I.W.: Have you enjoyed the atmosphere during the competitions? How was the organization?
M.S.: The atmosphere was fantastic; it’s done both by sportsmen and organizers. Our concept of extreme power lifting is spectacular! Safety, credibility, and fun are part of every event. At Kursk, Igor set a new gold standard! There was an emotional elation throughout the competitions; the Russian people are completely devoted to work.
I.W.: The US sportsmen made first appearance at the World Championship in Kursk-2016. Have you worried and supported them?
M.S.: The US sportsmen had to make a long way to Russia – visa arrangement, several transfers, time difference they had to adjust to. All the sportsman from America loved coming to Kursk. They found the city beautiful and everyone helped them. A special thanks to organizers for arranging the interpreter at the tournament and help assistance all the way throughout the Championship. Was I worried, no, they are powerlifters!
I.W.: The International Sports Festival “NOSOROG PRO-8” is coming; we have to ask you about it. Will you come?
M.S.: It is my job to serve. It is never about me, it is about you! I will come again and it will be my 8th visit to Russia. It is a pleasure that Festival has become annual. The tournament of such level is a result of the fruitful cooperation of organizers, partners and participants.
I.W.: Do you plan to participate at the NOSOROG PRO-8? Have you ever competed in Kursk? What are your impressions and plans?
M.S.: Well, I’ve had a pleasure to compete in Kursk and I really liked it. The organization and judging were on high level. I plan to participate at the Cup of Europe and I hope I’ll set up the new world records in raw bench press.
I.W.: Within the NOSOROG-PRO8 Festival, the Open Europe powerlifting, benchpress, deadlift, multy-repeat benchpress and armlifting Cup WPC/AWPC/WAA will take place. What gives such a combination?
M.S.: It is great! Strong men and women need to be with other strong men and women. We are powerlifters, but respect all that are strong. The organizers provide a variety of choices for sportsmen in competing in power, endurance, beauty in different nominations both for amateurs and professionals.
I.W.: Do you expect any honoured guests at the forthcoming Cup of Europe?
M.S.: It is the end of a very successful WPC/AWPC season. We invite everyone, and all we can do is ask!
I.W.: You perfectly combine both the coaching and competition careers, and you’ve got many fans in Russia. Do you plan to coach in Russia?
M.S.: Of course! (laughing). It is Russia that inspires me. It was Russia that first brought science to all sports in the 1950’s. I have been blessed to witness, report, and record the tremendous spirit of the “Russian Bear”! We’ll see, anyway I plan to come back to Russia.
I.W.: Do you have a motto that you follow both in life and sports?
M.S.: Motto in Life – I not death, so don’t act like it!
Motto in Sport – More Weight!
I.W.: Do you have other hobbies besides sports?
M.S.: Every day is a hobby for me…at 64 years old I enjoy swimming, weight training, powerlifting, yoga, everything!
I.W.: How has powerlifting changed for the last 5 years?
M.S.: The popularity of extreme sports has increased significantly. The total amount of athletes has risen as well. In general, powerlifting is growing actively. With social media being both good and bad. Information is confusing. The WPC/AWPC has grown and grown. Our total number of countries and sportsmen membership is at all time high. Every day more requests for information come in. We always remember our beginning, “for the lifter”. Also we have the strongest drug free policy, lifetime banned.
13. I.W.: Do you plan new tournaments in 2017? Are their venues possible in the USA?
M.S.: The New schedule will be vote on at the 2016 WPC Worlds in America and then reported.
M.S.: First of all, I invite everyone to participate at the forthcoming Festival. Train hard and wisely. I wish good luck and new records to sportsmen. I wish physical and emotional strength to organizers. Hopefully, everything will be held as planned! If you love sports, you have to be in it. Remember I work for you!
Submit an application for the Open Europe Cup, please follow this website link http://www.nosorogpro.ru/