When the Gay Games inexplicably dropped powerlifting from the 2018 event in Paris despite it being held at every other Gay Games, LGBT powerlifters took matters in their own strong hands by starting their own event. As many as 60 are expected to compete next July in London in the first LGBT International Powerlifting Championships.

The event is the idea of Chris "Chunky" Morgan and Dominic Patmore, both London residents. Morgan is highly accomplished, having won medals at 24 international events in his 18 years in the sport — including best lifter at the 2011 European Deadlift Championships — and being the holder of several world and British deadlift records. Patmore has been competing since 2008 and has medaled at events in Britain.

Next July 29, the organizers expect lifters from the U.S., Britain, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland and Slovenia.

"It is very important that LGBT powerlifters are given the same opportunities as I’ve enjoyed over the last 18 years in the sport," Morgan said. "LGBT lifters are very much a minority in the sport of powerlifting and it is important that we are able to come together as a group to compete at least once a year. We have never had our own annual international championships, so to bring everyone together in London 2017 will be a very special occasion."

"In 2017 the Powerlifting Championships will be happening on the weekend in between the World Paraathletics Championships and the World [Track and Field] Championships, so participants will be visiting a city alive with sporting energy," Patmore said.

Participants of all abilities are welcome, regardless of age, sexuality, ability, gender and health status as there are no minimum qualifying standards. The weekend will consist of a free coaching clinic, powerlifting competition, athletes banquet, congress and closing party sponsored by Eagle Bar and The World Famous Horse Meat Disco, a media release said.

Events at the Bethnal Green Weightlifting Club include Full Powerlifting (Equipped & Unequipped), Single Lift Squat (Equipped & Unequipped), Single Lift Bench (Equipped & Unequipped) and Single Lift Deadlift (Equipped & Unequipped).

For more details about the LGBT International Powerlifting Championships and to register interest visit their website or their Facebook group / or their Facebook event page . Morgan can be reached via email ([email protected]).

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