With Impetus, we focus on the time-honored tradition that is Olympic weightlifting. To inspire you to join us or to keep going in your weightlifting journey, here are 5 important milestones in barbell lore.
1. Russia Reigns
In the Summer Olympic Games (as of 2016), Russia has won the most Olympic weightlifting Gold medals (39), as well as the most overall medals in the sport (62). China follows with 31 Gold and 54 overall medals, and the United States comes in third with 16 Gold and 44 overall medals. Russia/USSR has had 231 international titles in some form throughout history.
2. Or Does China?
A Chinese weightlifter has won the International Weightlifting Federation’s World Weightlifter of the Year more than any other nation. The Chinese weightlifting machine–second in the Olympics overall–has won the IWF honors 14 times since the award started in 1982. Bulgarian weightlifters come in second with 10 wins. China’s Liu Chunhong won the honors the most of any one individual, with three. All in all, China has taken 189 international titles.
3. Super Heavyweight Champs
Georgian Lasha Talakhadze holds the Olympic and world record for most weight lifted with 477 kg total (1,051 lbs) at the 2017 World Championships–beating his previous world record set at the 2016 Rio de Janiero Olympics (473 kg). Talakhadze won the nation of Georgia’s Sportman of the Year award in 2017.
On the women’s side of things, China’s Zhou Lulu earned the Olympic record in London back in 2012. Her 187 kg (412 lbs) clean and jerk helped her to earn the total Olympic record with 333 kg (734 lbs). Both athletes obviously won the Gold medals in the Super Heavyweight classification.
4. Ladies Lifting
The 2000 Sydney Olympics were noteworthy for a lot of reasons, but in the weightlifting world, it was the inclusion of women’s weightlifting for the first time as a medal event that resonated the most. The first women’s Olympic Gold medalist was Tara Nott of the United States, but Karnam Malleswari of India was not just a Bronze medalist, but was the first woman in Indian history to take home a medal.
5. The Future is Now
CJ Cummings has made headlines as the strongest person in the world for his age (17). He’s the reigning youth world champion and American record holder in the 69-kg (152.1 lbs) weight class. Cummings is said to be the bright future of weightlifting at a time when it has been dogged by doping scandals. Called a 5-foot-4-inch “perfect storm” for the sport, Cummings has “short femurs and bowed shins, which make his arms longer relative to his lower body and facilitate a quicker pull off the floor.”
Want to reach your own Olympic weightlifting milestones? Join us at the Impetus Barbell Club and start making history!