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Weight Lifter


A brief history

The earliest evidence of weightlifting and competitive weightlifting dates to 256 B.C Records show that during the Zhou Dynasty military recruits were tested before enrolled in the army. (Xu G et al., 2018). Throughout the worlds, museums are sculptures from ancient Greek civilisations that also depict the sport, from gods lifting heavy stones to soldiers lifting weights that have a similarity to dumbells. There are also artefacts recovered from Egyptian tombs that show the sport of weightlifting.

Weightlifting first appeared in the Athens 1896 Olympic Games as part of athletics however this was then removed for the following Olympics held in Paris in 1900. A variation of the original event called lifting was then reintroduced in 1904. It was recognised as a stand-alone sport in 1920 at the games held in Antwerp, Belgium. The IWF (International Weightlifting Federation) was founded in 1920.

Olympic weightlifting included one and two-handed lifts with no weight divisions. This later evolved at the 1924 Paris games too, the Two Hands Press and the Two Hands Snatch. In 1928 the one-armed lifts were finally cut from the games.  These lifts were replaced by the standard commonly known as the Olympic Three; the Two Hands Clean and Press, the Two Hands Snatch and the Two Hands Clean and Jerk. (Newton Harvey,1999)

The Two Hands Clean and Press was dropped from official competition in 1972, much to the dismay of many athletes.  By 1932, five weight divisions had been established, and three disciplines made up the Olympic competition – Press, Snatch, and Clean-And Jerk. 


In 1972 the Press was finally abolished, due to controversies about how it should be judged, leaving the Snatch and Clean and Jerk as the sport’s two Olympic disciplines. (Stone et al., 2006).

Women’s competition made its Olympics debut in 2000 in Sydney.  There are currently eight weight classifications for men, and seven for women and ten for IWF competition.

 Men: 61, 67, 73, 81, 96, 109, +109 Kg

Women: 49, 55, 59, 64, 76, 87, +87 Kg.




Newton Harvey (1999). Strength and Conditioning Journal: June 1999 - vol21 - Issue 3 - p 13-15 Accessed 08 Jan. 2021.

Stone, Michael H; Pierce, Kyle C; Sands, William A; Stone, Meg E. (2006) Strength and Conditioning Journal;  Vol. 28, Iss. 1,  p 50-66. Accessed 08 Jan. 2021.

Wooyeal, Paik, and Daniel A. Bell. (2004) Citizenship and State-Sponsored Physical Education: Ancient Greece and Ancient China.” The Review of Politics, vol. 66, no. 1, p. 7–34. Accessed 08 Jan. 2021.

Xu G., Chen Y., Xu L. (2018) Understanding Chinese Culture.  P.10-74. Accessed 08 Jan. 2021.



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