Pound for pound, Olympic weightlifters have a greater level of speed-strength than any other class of athletes in all of sport. This fact was made very clear during a massive scientific expedition carried out on the athletes at the Mexico City Olympics in 1964. Sports scientists found that Olympic lifters were able to both vertical jump higher than any class of athletes (including the high jumpers), and run a 25 yard dash faster than any class of athletes (including the sprinters). Frederick C. Hatfield, Ph.D., F.I.S.S.A
Weightlifting was first introduced to the Olympic Games in 1896 as a part of track and field. It had an on-off history as it was left out of the 1900 Games, reappeared in 1904 and didn’t return to the Olympics again until 1920 when it was admitted in its own right.
Men compete in eight classes from 56 kilograms (kg) to 105 kilograms and greater, and women in seven classes from 48 kilograms to 75 kilograms and greater.
Kilograms are the official Olympic unit of weight. Countries are allowed two competitors in each weight class subject to Olympic qualifying standards.