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Weightlifting at the 1896 Athina Summer Games

1896 Summer Games: Next Summer Games


Host City: Athina, Greece
Date Started: April 7, 1896
Date Finished: April 7, 1896
Events: 2

Participants: 7 (7 men and 0 women) from 5 countries
Youngest Participant: DEN Viggo Jensen (21 years, 290 days)
Oldest Participant: GER Carl Schuhmann (26 years, 331 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): DEN Viggo Jensen and GBR Launceston Elliot (2 medals)
Most Medals (Country): 3 countries with 2 medals


The 1896 weightlifting events were conducted outdoors in the infield of the [Panathinaiko Stadio]. In 1896, there were no internationally accepted rules or classifications for weightlifting. Dumbbells were used for the one-handed lift, with competitors required to )snatch) from ground to arm's length with or without stopping at the shoulder, and for the two-handed lift a barbell was used. A two-handed event with dumbbells was often contested in that era. Its absence from the program upset the British team greatly and after being advised by Prince Georgios of Greece that the conditions of the contests were immutable, Great Britain's Lawrence Levy withdrew. This, however, was not the end of Levy's involvement as he joined Prince Georgios as one of the judges of the competitions, and served as an assistant to the British lifter, [Launceston Elliot].

The competitors had three attempts. After three lifts the three best lifters had another three attempts. In the event that lifters tied at the same weight, the one with the better style, as noted by the judges, was determined to be the winner.

The lifting order was different from that used now. The lifters started in the order of their start numbers, and could ask for any weight. The next lifters could ask for lower weights. All did their first round of lifts before the next round started.