Weightlifting official fulfils Olympic goal

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    A DREAM 15 years in the making has been realised for Southland woman Barbara Grieve.

    She found out last week she has been selected as a technical official for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Games weightlifting competition.

    She had been nominated by Olympic Weightlifting NZ.

    A technical official controls the play of a competition by making judgments on rule infringement, performance, time or ranking.

    Her reaction on hearing the good news involved some “yahooing and dancing”, she said.

    “It means everything. It has been my dream to get to the Olympic Games as an official,” she said.

    “It has always been my aim when I started [in the sport]. If I was going to become a referee or an official, I wanted to go to the top.”

    Grieve acknowledged the support of her husband Grant in helping her realise her dream.

    “Without the support, understanding and belief of my husband, I probably would not have got as far.”

    Grieve became involved in weightlifting in Southland when her son started lifting about 17 years ago. She was a founding member of the Southland Olympic Weightlifting Club.

    To become an Olympic-level official required “jumping through many hoops”, she said.

    She started as a club referee, before becoming a national official.

    You had to be a national official for a minimum of five years before you could be nominated by the national body and sit exams to become a International World Federation category two technical official, she said.

    After a minimum of two years as a category two official, she then sat more exams to rise to the level of a category one official.

    Category one officials officiate at junior and senior world championships and the Olympic Games.

    Grieve has been a category one official on the international circuit for four years.

    She had continued as a weightlifting official after her son stopped lifting, simply because she enjoyed the sport, she said.

    “Just the level of commitment that both the athletes and their coaches have to succeed, and then you add the commitment of the technical officials to make sure we can run a good event.

    “I also enjoy watching the younger lifters growing, not just in the sport but in their lives.”

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