Weightlifting has been at the Olympic Games in all years except 1900, 1908 and 1912. In the current competition format, each athlete has three attempts for each movement - the 'snatch' and the 'clean and jerk'.
Weightlifting has been left off the original list of sports for the 2028 LA Olympics.
The snatch entails lifting the bar directly from the floor above the head in a single movement.
The clean and jerk is a two-stage movement, lifting the bar from the ground to shoulder height, and then lifting it above the head.
The best performances in each lift are combined to determine the winners.
- Men’s Categories: Up to 56 kg, 56-62 kg, 62-69 kg, 69-77 kg, 77-85 kg, 85-94 kg, 94-105 kg, Over 105 kg.
- Women’s Categories: Up to 48kg, 53kg, 58kg, 63kg, 69kg, 75kg, 90kg and over 90kg (an extra category was added in 2016)
- In Paris 1896, the events were the one hand lift and the two hand lift.
- In 1904 the events were Two hand lift and All-around dumbbell.
- In the early Games, all lifters competed in the same events, regardless of their individual body weights. From 1920 onwards, weight classes were set up. These classes have changed over time. Currently the men have 8 and the women 6 different weight classes.
- Ibragim Samadov, who represented the Unified Team at the 1992 Olympics weightlifting, finished in equal first in the 82.5 kg division, but was relegated to 3rd on a countback due to him being 0.05 kg heavier. In protest, he refused to lean forward to accept his medal, instead took it in his hand then dropped it. The IOC subsequently disqualified him.
- The 2000 Olympics was the first time that women were allowed to compete at the Olympics in weightlifting.
- The best all-time performing Weightlifting athlete at the Olympic Games is Pyrros Dimas of Greece with three gold medals and one bronze. See more on the greatest weight lifters at the Olympics.
- In the weightlifting competition in Tokyo 2020, New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard became the first openly transgender athlete born male to compete in a female event at the Olympic Games. Despite being a gold medal favorite, she failed to complete a lift and finished last.