In Tokyo during 1964, weightlifting first featured in the Paralympic Games. Initially, the sport was only for male competitors who had spinal injuries, but it evolved into something much more than that. After its Paralympic debut, the sport included more and more disability groups as the years went on. It also began implementing rules similar to able-bodied weightlifting. Finally, in 1992 at the Barcelona Paralympic Games, weightlifting was officially replaced by powerlifting. In essence, powerlifting is another form of lifting weights.
There was a number of events that took place in the weightlifting competition every Paralympics, and they were separated by weight class. The classes ranged from 48kg all the way up to 100kg. Weightlifting was essentially a test of pure strength, power and control. Athletes that were competing had to lower a loaded barbell to their chest, hold it, and explode back up. They followed this routine under the referee’s commands. Each athlete had up to 3 trials for the lift, and they chose their own weight. The athlete who could bench press the most weight won the gold medal.
While the sport did transition from weightlifting to powerlifting, not much actually changed. The rules and regulations evolved, as with every sport, but at the heart of the sport remains the attributes of pure strength and power.
- Powerlifting at the Paralympics
- List of sports at the Paralympics
- Discontinued Paralympic Sports
- Weightlifting at the Olympics
- List of Sports for Athletes with Disabilities
- More about the sport of Olympic weightlifting
- Complete list of sports
- main Paralympics page