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USA Weightlifting’s woes paint familiar picture for Olympic NGBs

US Olympic national governing body has lost 1,500 members since March due to health crisis Moving competitions and coaching courses to digital platforms has helped maintain revenues Organization will likely tap into $4m reserves to help pay for sharply rising costs in 2021 The fate of USA Weightlifting in the past three months helps shine a light on the opportunities and challenges faced by US Olympic national governing bodies following the onset of the global Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Games. The shutdown of live sports competition in the United States, coupled with a decline in consumer discretionary spending and widespread closure of gymnasiums and training centers, has had a devastating impact on the NGBs’ principal revenue sources. Meanwhile, the rescheduling of the Tokyo Olympics until 2021 has delayed the opportunity for these bodies to gain significant nationwide publicity and, in turn, potential membership upticks and an influx of new commercial partners. Already USA Rugby has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, while many other NGBs have laid off staff and implemented pay cuts, such as USA Cycling and USA Track and Field. The vast majority have also requested funding from the US government’s federal loan program to help see them through this financial crisis. A $2tn (€1.

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