by Al Myers
The “second Frank” that was awarded the IAWA Presidential Award of Merit at the 2014 IAWA World Championships went to Frank Ciavattone. It was a great honor to me to be the one that got to make this presentation – as I’ve always looked up to Frank and have considered him a role model. Below is my presentation speech, for those that were not there to here it firsthand.
I’m honored to be the one that gets to award the IAWA Award of Merit to Frank Ciavattone. This Presidential Award has only been given out a few times, as it represents recognition of the highest form in the IAWA. I could go on forever about Franks lifting accomplishments in the IAWA. As I was doing preparation for this presentation, I realized that Frank has won so many titles and has set so many records and has so many lifting accomplishments that this speech could get very long on me if I wasn’t careful. I’m not going to make Frank stand up here that long – so I’ll just hit a few highlights of his IAWA lifting career. I’ll try to keep this speech as short as I can here.
• Started training in 1971 under coach Joe Mills of the Central Fall Weightlifting Club
• Began involvement in the IAWA in 1988
• IAWA World Championship Meet Promoter 1993, 2000, 2014
• IAWA Gold Cup Meet Promoter 2010
• Holds MANY IAWA World Records
• First US lifter to lift the Dinnie Stones barehanded in 1995
• Won 20 IAWA World Championship titles
• Founder of Franks Barbell Club, and has mentored and coached many new lifters
• Best lifts: One Arm Hack 402.5#, One Arm Deadlift 562.2#, One Arm Ciavattone DL 331#, Neck Lift 808#,Hand and Thigh 1610#, Hip Lift 2515#
• Lifted overseas 7 times – in 6 IAWA World Championships and the Millennium Gold Cup
I’m sure I’ve left off many of Frank’s accomplishments within the IAWA in this short list – but you get the idea here – he has been a major contributor to the IAWA during the entire span of the history of the IAWA. I would like to say a few words about why Frank REALLY deserves this honor. I made this comment in Frank’s USAWA Hall of Fame writeup, and I would like to repeat it here as I think it sums up Frank Ciavattone – “Frank is the ultimate sportsman by demonstrating that a big man can be very strong without the use of drugs, showing that strength comes from within, and displays the unselfish attitude of always helping out his fellow competitors.”
When I first became involved in this great sport of all round weightlifting , I immediately took notice of Frank. We both shared being in the heavier weight classes together. But instead of becoming heated opponents, Frank encouraged me in ways I wasn’t expecting. My involvement in IAWA might not have matured like it has if not for Frank Ciavattone. He has been an inspiration to me, as well as many others, to become more involved in IAWA. Frank has always strived to “give back” to our sport more than he has taken. We would not be here this weekend if not for Frank.
Frank – I consider you a great friend. You are more than deserving of this Presidential Award of Merit and it is my privilege to be the one to get the opportunity to present this award to you. Thank you for all you’ve done for our sport.