Frederick nixed for Olympic training site

March 18, 1997

FREDERICK, Md. (AP) - Frederick lost out to Shreveport, La., to be the home of an Olympic weightlifting training center.

The USA Weightlifting Federation, the national governing body for U.S. Olympic weightlifting, voted Saturday to locate the center in Shreveport, Anthony Bartkowski, a spokesman at the federation's headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colo., said Monday.

The center would be the first of several regional development centers dedicated to attracting and training young athletes for international competition, Bartkowski said.

The federation hopes athletes could start training at the center this summer, he said.

The United States dominated the sport in the 1950s and 1960s, but hasn't won an Olympic medal since 1984 when the U.S. team won two.


Mike Cady of the Monocacy Valley Olympic Weightlifting Club led the effort to try to bring the center to Frederick. The other finalists were Pensacola, Fla.; York, Pa.; and Hinesville, Ga., Bartkowski said.

Cady's club has 40 members, including 1968 Olympian Ernie Pickett of Baltimore, who train at a building in downtown Frederick. The club had been negotiating for a 14,000-square-foot warehouse for the Olympic training center.

Cady said the fact that the Shreveport club already has a facility was a factor in the federation's vote.

``It's tough to get a committee to agree on a site that doesn't exist,'' he said. ``That's really what it came down to.''

But Cady still has hope that Frederick could be chosen when the federation picks a second regional training site in two years.

``We were simply not as prepared this time,'' Cady said.

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