• Olympic Debut
    Athens 1896
  • Most Gold Medals
    Pyrros Dimas (GRE)
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Weightlifting spotlight

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History of


Weightlifting has ancient origins. It featured at the first modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896.

A Long History

As a means to measure strength and power, weightlifting was practised both by ancient Egyptian and Greek societies. It developed as an international sport primarily in the 19th century, and is one of the few sports to have featured at the 1896 Athens Games.

Power Struggle

At the beginning of the century, Austria, Germany and France were the most successful nations. However in the 1950s, the Soviet Union’s weightlifters rose to prominence and stayed there until the 1990s, when China, Turkey, Greece and Iran catapulted to the lead. In the women’s field, China has been dominant since the very beginning.