Please let me preface this entry with making it known that I have been involved in the WABDL more than most. When I first qualified for WABDL worlds the pre requisite was a top finish in a recognized fed as the WABDL was just starting! I have missed only ONE worlds since 1998 and that was due to being in between moving and other issues. A few weeks after each world GUS HAS REQUESTED I give him a call and we sift over the show and how we CAN MAKE IT BETTER. NO it is not a bitch session, there is no yelling, it is merely two veteran powerlifters trying to combine ideas that help the LIFTER. Last year my biggest issue was with scoring, particlarly how the scoring from a previous days or sessions lifting, carries over to another class, in particular the OPEN class. I was almost robbed of a world title in 2008. IN a nutshell I checked BOTH the results in the ballroom which is like reading braile with 700 lifters, and then comparing that to what is supposed to be the OFFICIAL scoring which can be found in the warmup room. After doing so, according to BOTH charts in 2008, I was securely in first place going into my third. WHen I was turning in my third, Brandt Bishop said....Hey Rock I bet this guy wasn't on the list, and he showed me a master that lifted 749 the day before, and his lifts WERE NOT posted anywhere. I then had to change my third from 733 to 755 to go for the win. I made the lift with room to spare but imagine if Brandt did NOT catch the error? I spoke with Gus about it and he stated that was top of his lift of things to change. So now its 2009, and in the warmup area I DID notice the scoring was made available to the lifter sooner, which DOES help a bunch. I compared that list with the lengthy ballroom list and my top competitor had 712lbs listed on BOTH charts. So I opened light, and as any seasoned lifter would do, took ONLY WHAT I NEEDED TO WIN with 716 on my second. My coach had watched the other lifters and no one was capable of beating that lift in his eyes, plus with a broken rib and the emotion of dedicating the win to my recently passed Mom, I decided to pass my third. You can imagine my reaction when I was announced as SECOND PLACE winner for the 242 class!! It appears there was a misprint, and the gent that did 712 actually did 716. I was told by a WABDL officer that the error was caught at One Am that morning, yet it was NOT changed on either of the charts. Yes I Know the staff is very overworked, they do a tremendous job, and personally I love all of them, but this happened not only to me, AGAIN, but also the 259 class as well. I do not know if it did or did not happen to any other liftters. We need to find a way to get BETTER scoring. My suggestion, as in my life if your gonna complain, have a suggestion, the Marine Corps way so to speak, would be to get a different colored SCORE CARD for all OPEN LIFTERS as a for instance, so even if they are doing say....Submasters and OPen, the scores can easily find the different colored cards, in this case, say RED, they can easily gather ALL of the red cards for the open division, and an official could go back with the red cards and then ensure they get carried over correctly. For all you computer gurus I am certain there must be a program that could do the same thing. I am not blaming the person that made the mistake, I am trying to FIX IT. Any seasoned lifter would have done just exactly what I did, as I make NO excuses. At the worlds you go for the WIN, in other meets hit your prs etc, but if your competing in an open world championship, you get the WIN first and foremost.
I dont want this post to be a total downer. GUS IMMEDIATELY fixed the issue and gave us both first place trophies which is all he could do. If he said we were going to have a lift off I was more than ready lol. I had more in the tank and was certainly capable of more than 716 so you can imagine I was a bit bitter. As a side note the same competitor was involved in BOTH cases. Next year I am going to just suggest he lift with me in the Open and let the better man win, HEAD TO HEAD, with no scoring to rely on, head to head lifting as it should be.
I had a great time coaching and lifting at the show. Anytime you can come out of WABDL worlds with an open world title you should be proud. All of you reading are members so you know that those are NEVER given away. It is the toughest single lift event in the WORLD. Gus is the main reason why, but he has such a great staff as well. I know 99 percent of the WABDL brass and can tell you, I like every single one of them. The judging appeared VERY CONSISTENT from my viewpoint, and I have yet to see any internet bashing although it is almost unavoidable. Congrats to all of those that won and please understand this post is meant to HELP and not point the finger.