Weightlifting at the London 2012 Olympic Games will showcase a test of pure strength – the oldest and most basic form of physical competition.

Did you know?

There will be 1630 discs for the Weightlifting competition ranging in weight from five kilograms to 25kg.
Weightlifting is a global sport – competitors from more than 30 countries have won medals at the Olympic Games.
Weightlifters put chalk on their hands to help them grip the bar.
Competitors’ bodyweights are used to break ties, with the lighter lifter winning out.
The ‘press’ lift, in which the bar is lifted from the chest, was used in Olympic Games competition until 1972.
The first Weightlifting World Championships were held in London in 1891.

Key facts

Venue: ExCeL
Dates: Saturday 28 July – Tuesday 7 August
Gold medals up for grabs: 15
Athletes: 260 (170 men, 90 women)

One of the most straightforward sports on the London 2012 Olympic Games programme is also among the most awe-inspiring. The aim of Weightlifting is simple: to lift more weight than anyone else. The result is pure sporting theatre of the most dramatic kind, and a real spectator favourite.

The basics

Competitors in Weightlifting are divided into 15 weight categories, eight for men and seven for women. The strongest competitors may lift more than three times their body weight.
Each event features two types of lift. In the snatch, the bar is lifted from the floor to above the head in one movement. By contrast, the clean and jerk is a two-stage action – the bar is first brought up to the shoulders before being jerked over the head.

Each lifter is allowed three attempts at the snatch and three attempts at the clean and jerk, and their best lift in each discipline counts towards their total. When a tie occurs, the athlete with the lower bodyweight is declared the winner. If two athletes lift the same total weight and have the same bodyweight, the winner is the athlete who lifted the total weight first.

Olympic Weightlifting, past and present

The heaviest individual weight lifted in Olympic competition was achieved by Hossein Rezazadeh of the Islamic Republic of Iran. At the Athens 2004 Games, Rezazadeh clean-and-jerked 263.5kg – a weight roughly equivalent to five flyweight boxers.

At London 2012, the Weightlifting competition will be held at ExCeL, a multi-purpose events venue that will host seven Olympic and six Paralympic sports during the Games.

How Jargon buster

  • No lift: A lift that is judged to be unsuccessful by at least two of the three referees.
  • Press out: An illegal move where the lifter bends the arms while holding the bar overhead, then presses them out to straighten them.
  • Squat: To drop while bending the legs, with the feet to either side.

Get involved

It’s very important to get proper instruction, so contact  British Weightlifting  to find out where you can learn. The Active Places website also allows you to search for facilities in England. Additional information on the sport can be found at the International Weightlifting Federation.

Weightlifting at the Beijing games

~ by superbowlnyc on February 20, 2011.

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