The 2023 World Weightlifting Championships concluded on a great note in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Weightlifting champions from across the globe gathered in the arena to clinch their ticket to the Paris Olympics. With this, many stood victorious to take the triumph home. However, for the American weightlifting icon Kate Vibert, it was rather a bitter experience for her weigh-in singlet.

Weightlifting costumes are an integral part of the sport. According to the International Weightlifting Federation guidelines, Weightlifting Singlet and Weightlifting shoes are a must. The weightlifters need to wear belts, knee sleeves, and wrist wraps for extra protection. However, as Kate Vibert stepped on the podium for the weigh-in all while donning her singlet, she faced rather a discomforting incident. Following this, the USA Weightlifting Chief stood in support of her.

 USA Weightlifting CEO & President bold move in support of Kate Vibert


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The CEO and President of USA Weightlifting, Matt Sicchio, openly came out in support of Kate Vibert. He released a statement that articulated his strong and bold move. Through this decisive step, he demanded to take considerable and stringent action on this issue. He declared that USAW would file a formal complaint to IWF regarding this and would ask for accountability from the technical officials.

This is what he said in the initial lines of his statement, “USA Weightlifting is aware of Kate Vibert’s Sept. 20 Instagram post detailing the appalling and unacceptable treatment she received on Sept. 13 during weigh-ins at the International Weightlifting Federation World Championships. We stand with Kate and applaud her courage to share this experience publicly.

Addressing the issue, he further added, “the body shaming and humiliation she experienced from the international technical officials responsible for her weigh-in is not acceptable in any context, and certainly not as an elite athlete preparing to represent her country at the highest level of our sport.


He also added that this action should have been taken earlier, prior to Kate’s Instagram post. Sicchio clearly condemned the inappropriate behavior of IWF technical officials during Kate’s weigh-in. More so, through her social media handle, Kate Vibert didn’t only explained the gravity of what happened with her, but she also called out the officials for their inappropriate behavior by expressing her disappointment.

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From Kate’s Instagram Post

On 20th September, the weightlifter took to her Instagram to pull off the curtains from the unacceptable experience that she faced with the IWF technical official’s comments and behavior during her weigh-in. She conceded, “After time to think about it and talks with fellow teammates, I’ve decided that this is an experience worth a conversation.

According to her statement, the technical officials disapproved of her weightlifting singlet and commented repeatedly pointing toward her chest. The other contestants had weigh-in by wearing their assigned costume and she was denied to perform in her singlet.

Penning the caption, she stated, “The officials immediately expressed their disapproval, pointing repeatedly at my chest. They both spoke to each other in a language I couldn’t understand and told me, “no, unacceptable” while staring and pointing directly at my breasts.” Her coach later helped her with the competition singlet. “I was well underweight and knew I would be under 71.0kg with the heavier costume.“, she concluded.


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Incidents like this harm the dignity of athletes. Every athlete needs to be treated with equality and respect. There should be no discrimination on the basis of differences in body types. Body shaming is not a healthy practice, and it needs to be strongly condemned.


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