Meanwhile in the US …
You probably heard about Donald Trump’s executive order to close US borders to 7 Muslim-majority countries (via).
Affected Countries: Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Libya, Somalia.
The executive order bans citizens of of these countries entering the United States for at least the next 90 days, and bans refugees from Syria indefinitely.
With worlds coming to the US again in November, I wonder if / how this will impact the competition.
Are there backup plans for this? You know, just in case he changes his mind and makes it 12 months… or comes up with even crazier ideas (I realize that Worlds in Anaheim is already a backup plan, but still).
Meanwhile Iran already announced it will ban US citizens from entering its territory (via). Next international competition in Iran is the Fajr cup (March 9-14). Last year no US lifters competed there. Not sure if some wanted to compete this year, but that idea is now off the table.
Update: Phil Andrews (CEO of USA Weightlifting) told me that:
We do have a small delegation planning to attend. Once again we need to understand the full impact of the action taken.
Featured Comment from GHM:
It is happening again after 50 years!
Remember Tokyo 1967 (no you don’t ;)? Japan did not issue visas to East German athletes and that world championship was canceled and replaced by little-Olympic competition at Mexico City. (more info here)
2017 World championship must be moved immediately without losing a moment of time to another host city/country. I suggest either China, Japan, Germany, or England. It is absolutely essential to our sport that athletes feel comfortable and have a peace of mind during competition.
Comment from USA Weightlifting CEO Phil Andres (via):
Dear Gregor, Dear Friends.
USA Weightlifting is working to understand the impacts of President Trump’s actions both within and after the 90 days of the order, if any, on our sport.
It is our view that politics and sport must be seperate. Weightlifting and other Olympic sport provide a peaceful outlet for nations to interact no matter what the political climate.
We remain confident at this time to welcome our friends in Weightlifting from all nations, including these 7 nations, to Anaheim, California, USA this November.
Update 30.01.2017: The USOC said
the U.S. government has today advised us that it will work with us to ensure that athletes and officials from all countries will have expedited access to the United States in order to participate in international athletic competitions.
Let’s see how that’s going to work out.