History of weightlifting

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History of weightlifting

Weightlifting is probably one of the oldest sports in History. Its born can be located around 3600 BC in China where strength practices were done by the emperors. During Chow Dynasty (1122 BC) soldiers had to lift some weights as part of their training. Most of historian mention Milon from Crotona, in the Ancient Greek, as pioneer in the weightlifting around the VI century before Christ. In the XIX century, mostly in Central Europe, it was common find strength exhibition in taverns, where they rose a bar with big iron balls attached. You could see also strength demonstrations in the circus. Later, amateur weightlifting competitions started to be organized.

During Chow Dynasty (1122 BC) soldiers had to lift some weights as part of their training.

In the First Modern Olympics, celebrated in Athens in 1896, weightlifting was included as an Olympic sport. Lauceston Elliot stood out raising 71kg. with one hand. There wasn’t weightlifting in Paris 1900, but it came back in San Louis 1904, where Pericles Kakousis (Greece) lifted 111,67 kg. After that there was an eight years period without weightlifting and it came back in the Ambers Olympic games in 1920. This was the first Olympic games where athletes were divided in different categories: 60 kg – Featherweight, 67.5 kg – Lightweight, 75 kg – Middleweight, 82.5 kg – Lightheavyweight, over 82.5 kg – Heavyweight. Years later in Amsterdam 1928 there was just three executions in the weightlifting program: press, snatch and clean & jerk with both hands. In Munich 1072 the following categories were valid: 52 kg Flyweight, 56 kg Bantamweight, 60 kg Featherweight, 67.5 kg Lightweight, 75 kg Middleweight, 82.5 kg Lightheavyweight, 90 kg Middleheavyweight, over 90 kg till 110 kg Heavyweight, over 110 kg Superheavyweight. Four years later the two-hand press was abolished and just snatch and clean & Jerk with two hands remained.

In Sydney 2000, females were included for first time.

In 1987 the first female weightlifting championship was celebrated. Ten years later, the Olympic Committee approved female participation in Olympic Games.

International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) was stablished in 1920, an organization integrated by amateur international federations.  Nowadays the IWF counts with 167 different nations. Around ten thousand weightlifters participate in international competitions. Since 1896, weightlifting appears in 20 Olympic Games. In Sydney females were included for first time. The most laureate weightlifter is Naim Suleymanoglu (Turkey) who won three Olympic titles (1988, 1992 and 1996). The Hungarian Imre Földi hold the five times Olympica game medal winner record (1960, 1964, 1968, 1972 and 1976). It followed by Norbert Schemansky (USA) with four medals and Pyrros Dimas with four too. This last is considered one of the best weightlifter of all times.