SWEDISH STEEL

Associated Press
Hiromi Miyake of Japan works out in preparation for the 2012 Summer Olympics, Friday, July 27, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
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Hiromi Miyake of Japan works out in preparation for the 2012 Summer Olympics, Friday, July 27, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

The bar used in the Olympic weightlifting competition is made of Swedish steel built to withstand 1.5 tons without snapping or losing its shape. That's four times more weight than the strongest competitors can lift.

The elasticity of the bar allows it to bend back into shape after each lift, says Erik Blomberg, CEO of Eleiko, the supplier of the weightlifting equipment used in London.

The plates consist of a steel hub coated with rubber. The firmness of the rubber is key, once the lifter lets go of the bar. "Not too soft so that it bounces out of control. And not too hard so that it damages the platform," says Bloomberg.

Karl Ritter — Twitter http://twitter.com/karl_ritter

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