The theory behind weightlifting at the Olympic Games is simple: In order to win, an athlete must lift more weight than any other opponent. The application and methods behind the sport, though, are much more complex. A weightlifter must be strong and durable with a tough mental attitude.
Weightlifting is scheduled to be contested at the Olympic Games from July 28-Aug. 7, 2012. In preparation for those competitions, I've created the following terminology list to help casual fans better understand the Olympic weight lifting competition.
Bomb Out: When a weightlifter bombs out, it means that he did not complete a valid lift in either the snatch or the clean and jerk. A failure to complete a valid lift results in a partial score.
Clean and Jerk: The clean and jerk is the second of the two weightlifting events contested. In the clean and jerk, the weightlifter brings the bar to his shoulders before lifting it above his head.
IWF: IWF stands for International Weightlifting Federation. The organization is the international governing body for sanctioned Olympic weightlifting competitions.
Jury: The jury is a group of officials who ensure that rules are followed and enforced during competition. The jury can correct and fix errors made by a referee.
Knurl: The term knurl refers to the "X" pattern on the bar. This criss-cross-like pattern makes it easier for weightlifters to get a good grip on the bar.
Lot Number: A lot number is a number drawn electronically that tells the athletes the order in which they will weigh-in and compete.
No Lift: No lift is the term used when a weightlifter fails to complete a valid lift. Two of the three judges must agree that the lift was invalid.
Press Out: A press out is an illegal move in weightlifting. In a press out, a lifter holds the bar over his head while bending his arms. The weightlifter then presses out to straighten out his arms. The technique is illegal because each lift must be done in a single and flowing movement.
Snatch: The snatch lift is the first of the two weightlifting events contested. In the snatch, the bar is lifted above the weightlifter's head in a single movement.
Squat: In a squat, a weightlifter begins in a standing position. Bending his knees, he drops his hips toward the ground while keeping his shoulders and chest in an upright position.
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
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