Weight Lifting

Weight Lifting

Perhaps the most awesome event in all of Olympics is the weight lifting competition. Here, the contestants range in size and strength from the 115 pound, bantam-sized strongmen (flyweights)… all the way up to the 243 pound giants (super heavyweights). This demanding sport first joined the Olympic Games in 1896, but disappeared until the 1920 Olympics at Antwerp… where it gained permanent status on the program. In Olympics competition, a lifter is allowed three attempts in each different type of lift. His final result is the total of the largest weight he is able to raise in each category. In the Press, the lifter is required to bring the heavy barbell from the floor up to his chest in one movement, hold it there steady, then raise it vertically until both arms are fully extended above his head. He is required to maintain a “military” position; head erect, eyes straight ahead, heels on the floor. In the Two-hand Snatch, the massive barbell is placed horizontally before the lifter’s legs. He must grip the bar, palms down, and pull the weight, in a single movement from the platform on which he stands to the full extent of both arms vertically above his head, while splitting or bending his legs. He then slowly brings his feet back together, and must become motionless, arms and legs extended, to await the judge’s signal that indicates a “clean lift”. The raw emotion, intense concentration, and massive strength needed for this strenuous competition, has made weight lifting an almost super-human event.