At its most basic level, the idea behind the Olympic weightlifting tournament is simple -- the person who lifts the most weight wins the gold medal. In order to go home with the gold, though, athletes must follow technique rules and lift the weights in the proper way.
Lifts Performed During Olympic Weightlifting Competitions
During the Olympic weightlifting competition, two types of lifts are performed. The snatch lift is first. In order to properly complete the snatch lift, athletes must raise the bar from the ground and extend their arms above their heads in one solid, continuous motion. The weightlifter's body must be in an upright position at the end of the lift.
To properly complete the clean and jerk lift, athletes squat and lift the bar to shoulder height before standing upright and pushing the bar above their heads. When doing the clean and jerk, the lifter is allowed two movements to raise the bar above his or her head.
Rules and Regulations During the Olympic Weightlifting Tournament
Each lifter is given three opportunities in both the snatch and clean and jerk lifts. At the end, the lifter's highest snatch and highest clean and jerk scores are combined for a total score. If a lifter is unable to complete a valid snatch, he or she is eliminated from the competition.
In the event of a tie, the lifter with the lowest bodyweight is awarded the higher spot. If the tied lifters have the same bodyweight, the athlete who lifted the total weight first is awarded the top spot.
Weightlifting at the 2012 Olympic Games in London
In London, 15 total weight classes -- eight men's and seven women's -- are scheduled to be contested, and 15 gold medals will be awarded. A total of 156 men and 104 women are expected to compete in the competitions, which are scheduled to begin on July 28, 2012 at the ExCeL venue.
Sandra Johnson is a longtime Olympic fan. While working for the United States Olympic Committee and living in the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., Johnson had the opportunity to immerse herself in the Olympic Movement. Follow her on Twitter: @SandraJohnson46.
- Sports & Recreation
- Olympic Weightlifting