We are saddened to learn of the passing of one of our mentors and friends, Roger Sadecki. Roger was instrumental to the success of the Minnesota High School Weightlifting Organization. He provided the children and adults of Minnesota endless support in their weightlifting development.
Roger was one of the first to arrive, and last to leave the meets no matter how big or small, always willing to help to get the meet moving and keep it rolling. He was a tough task master in the beginning, we needed it and we knew he was right. As a referee, he was thoughtful and knew how to do his job at every level.
As we grew, he sat back and enjoyed the fruits as weightlifting began to thrive in the State. We all marveled at his mastery of the rules, we could always count on him to answer our questions or set us straight when we needed it, and he was right. Moving forward, we will truly miss the statement, “Go ask Roger!”
He was a friend that enjoyed the camaraderie of the athletes and coaches before, during and after meets. Each of us has our stories with or around him. We learned very quickly, do not ask about how scales work, as we were in for an hour-long rant. We enjoyed the stories coming from the Olympics, and various Championships around the world, including the near “International Incidents.” Many of us will always have a smile thinking about the nickname – Red Light Roger, and as usual, he was right.
Many only knew this man as the servant leader he was, but we had heard of his prowess as a lifter himself, sadly many of us did not know him until after his competitive years. Those who did, remark on the longevity of his years of high-level lifting, a history that was not graced with the constant exposure and self-promotion granted today’s athlete. Unfortunately, much of that history leaves with Roger, as he was one of the treasuries of Weightlifting’s legacy.
Roger was a tireless advocate of the sport – keeping the MN LWC informed and updated about weightlifting ongoings in Minnesota, USAW, the IWF, and holding all accountable for their governance. For years, he organized meets for the benefit of the sport and the dedicated lifters needing a competitive outlet.
He was meticulous in his records, ensuring everything was done properly. He may be the last of that breed – a person lending his time, energy, and passion, many times paying his own way, to assist others in learning and growing in a sport that provides little in the way of financial reward, but a rich bounty in personal education and growth for those willing to sacrifice and pay the tuition.
We knew this day would come, too soon, and we would miss all he gave us, and the meets will feel a little empty without his voice and his guidance, and for once, we were right.
You will be missed, rest in peace friend.