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Remembering Björn Liwendahl, Sweden

Remembering Björn Liwendahl, Sweden

  • 06 Oct, 2020

Björn Liwendahl belonged to one of Weightlifting's really heavy names. He represented the Stockholm Athletic Club (SAK) throughout his active time as a weightlifter and leader. It all started in 1961, when Björn becomes a member of SAK. In 1969 Björn made his debut at the Swedish Championships for seniors and won his class, 52 kg. There were another 10 starts at the Swedish Championships resulting in five golds and two silvers. Björn ended his active lifting career in 1977, aged 35, by becoming Swedish champion.

During his active time Björn managed to represent Sweden on 10 national team assignments, such as Sweden-Finland team matches, Nordic Championships and Baltic Cup competitions. In connection with the last Swedish Championship gold in 1977, Björn had accumulated enough points to receive the award Big Boy No. 40. It was something that Björn was very proud of.

After the active time switched over to become a leader. He was appointed to the parent club SAK, was elected to the Board of Directors of Stockholm TF. Björn now invested in, among other things, making a career as a referee, Technical Official. In 1983 Björn took a step up his career by being elected to the Board of the Swedish Weightlifting Federation. He remained on the STF board until 1996 but continued as a member of the Technical Committee until 2014. He served as a referee instructor and held many courses for future referees. From 1990 to 1996, Björn was also vice chairman of the Swedish WF Executive Board.

At the World Championships in Södertälje, Sweden, in 1985 Björn was given a fine assignment when he was appointed head of the competition office. This was the start of his international career. A few years later, a big dream came true for Björn when he was appointed leader of the lifters' Olympic team to Seoul in 1988. It was followed up with another assignment as a referee at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

In 1991 Björn was elected to the European Weightlifting Federation, Technical Committee, a position he held for 20 years! No other Swedish weightlifting leader has been in an international post for so many years.

Björn was very well liked by his board colleagues, both nationally and internationally. Great knowledge of the sport, a lot of accuracy and very good lecturers and trainers characterized Björn. He also showed what a non-profit force he was by donating a lot of money to the Weightlifting Youth Fund.

After a long illness Björn died September 23. Swedish weightlifting has lost a great leader. Our thoughts go out to the family.

Håkan Johanson

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