The Olympics

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Olympic Weight Lifting

Olympic Weight Lifting has been part of the Summer Olympic Games since the modern day Olympics began in 1896. Even though Olympic weight lifting has been around since the beginnings of modern Olympics it did not really become as popular as it is today until sometime after World War Two in the forties. Olympic weight lifting and weight lifting in general require a lot of concentration and timing, these things combined with technique, speed, and power are what make a athlete excel in the ancient sport of weight lifting. It is said that early forms of weightlifting developed out of throwing weights, and this was seen in ancient Olympic sports such as the discus throw and other skills like the shot-put. The original word for weight lifting is halterophilia, which comes from the Greek word for throwing weights- Halteres.

Olympic weight lifting has many techniques and styles for the competitors. The lifts that are involved with Olympic weight lifting include a lift that they call the snatch. The technique called the snatch was the first weight lifting event in the modern Olympics and it is also the fastest. In this technique the weight lifter gets a wide grip on the barbell and then in one quick motion he needs to bring the weight from the floor to over his head. To master the snatch takes a lot of practice and concentration. Another event they use in weight lifting is called the clean and jerk. If a lifter cannot finish the snatch in the Olympic Events he does not even make it to the part of the clean and jerk. The clean and jerk is two steps and the clean is the first part, which is similar to a dead lift. In this part the lifter must lift the weights to around chest level and he drops down underneath the barbell into a squat, then the jerk part is bringing the barbell out of the squat position and standing while bringing the barbell over their head. This also takes much practice and strength training.