Each contestant is allowed three attempts at
each selected weight of the two types of lift.
Only the best lift from each event is counted
toward the final combined score. A majority
decision from three referees decides whether
a lift is successful. In both events, the bar
must be held overhead until the referees’ signal.
The down signal is not given until the lifter
is motionless and displays proper form. When
a tie occurs, the contestant with the lower body-weight
is declared the winner. Often a champion will
make a fourth attempt, which does not count
as part of the competition but can count as a
Snatch: In executing the snatch, the contestant grasps the barbell and in one
continuous forceful motion lifts it to the full extent of both arms over the
head. The legs may be flexed or moved at any time during this lift, but must
be returned to the same plane to complete the lift. The competitor must come
to an erect position with arms locked. When the feet, body, and bar lie in the
same plane, the referees give the down signal.
Clean and jerk: The clean and jerk involves
lifting the barbell to shoulder level in one
motion and above the head in another, separate
motion. The lift is designed as two distinct
efforts so the competitor can get the greatest
weight overhead. For the “clean,” the
lifter must grip the bar and lift it as high
as his or her power will allow, keeping it close
to the body. Before the bar begins to drop, the
lifter squats, secures the bar on the shoulders
or chest, and then stands up straight. The “jerk” is
the second effort, as the lifter thrusts the
bar from its position on the body to a position
overhead, again in one motion, and splits the
legs front and back like an open scissors. Finally,
the lifter brings the feet together and waits
for the referees’ down signal.
History, and Fast Facts
General Sports Links
Olympians will compete in dozens of sports this summer. Even though Gateway
to the Summer Games can't feature them all, you can learn about each and
every one by visiting the sites listed below.