On May 23rd Moira Lassen, CAAWS Chair, became the first woman in 108 years to be elected to the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) Executive Board.

Last December, the IWF Congress voted on a Constitutional change which would ensure a woman would be elected to the Executive Board. Women had always been eligible to run for the Board but none had tried as it was very doubtful she would win a position given the thick politics and traditional setting of International weightlifting.

For the May 2013 election, four women were nominated to the “women’s” position from the countries of Japan, Denmark, Austria and Moira Lassen from Canada. The vote for women’s Executive Board position followed those of President, General Secretary, 1st Vice President and 5 Vice Presidents. If no women were voted in those positions, the next position was “female Executive Board member”. For this position, Canadian Moira Lassen was elected upon receiving 64 votes (JPN 52; DEN 15; AUT 3).

Moira said, “I am very proud to be the first women elected to the IWF Executive Board and I am proud that my country owns that piece of history.”

After Canada’s win, the remaining women could carry on or remove their names from the candidate list. JPN pulled out, while DEN and AUT ran with their male colleagues. They did not fair well, but did get more votes than when running with the women.

Moira Lassen has a long involvement in the sport of weightlifting; she has been active nationally since 1995. Moira was the Secretary General of the Canadian Federation for 8 years.

She became a Category 1 International Technical Official, and has over 36 international assignments including Olympic, Youth Olympic, Pan Am and Commonwealth Games.

Moira is the mother of multiple world medalist and Olympian, Jeane Lassen

“I am looking forward to continually developing the sport of weightlifting on a global scale and engaging more girls and women to participate as athletes, coaches, officials and decision makers, ” Moira said.