Weightlifting originated from the strongman competition that was held in the 19th century and remains one of the largest tests of strength in the Olympic Games. Through training, modern weightlifters can now lift around three times their own weight. There are several events but each one involves power and strength.
Quite simply, weightlifting is about lifting more weight than the other competitors. There are two main lifts that are used. Firstly, there is the snatch, which involves lifting the bar from the ground to above the head in one graceful move. The other option is the ‘clean and jerk’ which allows the lifter to bring the bar up to the shoulders and then it is pushed up over the head and held there for at least two seconds.
The weights get progressively heavier with each round; each lifter has three chances to ‘pass’ each weight. Weightlifting was part of the original games in 1896 where there were both one and two armed lifts. The sport as we see it today as an individual two armed sport was introduced in 1924 with women’s events being added in 2000.
Weightlifting is one of the most international sports within the Olympic Games with over 30 countries having won a medal at weightlifting at some point or another during the history of the games. In the event of a tie break situation, the lighter lifter will win.