Why the US Sucks at Olympic Lifting: OL’ing Part 10

But in that way, OL’ing is not terribly different than a lot of marginalized sports in this country that exist under literally identical conditions of few athletes, no access, etc. And yet in some we succeed brilliantly; in others we medal sporadically (even one of our rowers won in Beijing and that sport is as niche as it gets). Clearly if all the problems with OL’ing were related to the issues of the last two days it would cut universally across all niche sports and it does not. There must be other factors at play and that’s the topic of today.

Why the US Sucks at Olympic Lifting: Ol’ing Part 9

Picking up directly from where I left off yesterday in Why the US Sucks at Olympic Lifting: OL’ing Part 8, I want to start by looking at another place OL’ing this country has a huge problem in terms of getting people (especially our large underclass of potentially amazing power athletes) into it. Again, I’ll point out exceptions and look at proposed solutions and I’m still leaving out two specific names and one specific group as recent developments in the sport that at least have the potential to change things going forwards. Back into the fray.

Why the US Sucks at Olympic Lifting: OL’ing Part 8

And that’s led us to where we are today and, in essence, this part of the series is sort of the ‘punchline’ to all of this (the part that everybody wish I’d started with) although I won’t stop here because I want to address not only some recent developments but other things that might change the situation (if it’s changeable at all). And while some of what I’m going to write will probably have been ‘obvious’ to everyone from the start, hopefully you’ll see that not all of it. And why I spent 5 weeks getting to this point.

Why the US Sucks at Olympic Lifting: OL’ing Part 7

Make no mistake that a lot was going on and I can’t possibly cover everything. I’d point folks to Bud Charniga’s 6 part series again for a truly comprehensive look at what was going on in the sport both in America and elsewhere, I’ll just try to hit some high points. And the following isn’t meant to be in any sort of order of importance (or even necessarily chronological order tho I’ll try to sequence it right), this was all sort of developing at the same time.

Why the US Sucks at Olympic Lifting: OL’ing Part 6

The big issue, however was one of timing with roughly 98% of our medals being won in this very narrow time frame between 1948 and 1960 and almost nothing since then (we have a handful of medals literally along with the two women’s medals in 2000). I finish by asking the question of what was going on during that time frame that allowed us to be so dominant along with wondering what in the hell happened.

Why the US Sucks at Olympic Lifting: OL’ing Part 5

I mean, there are a ton of marginalized Olympic sports in country, sports that nobody cares about, nobody knows about and that we don’t really produce results in. And either I just don’t see it being bitched about (because I’m not on, I don’t know, ping pong forums) or it’s just not something that folks in these other sports care about. So why is this issue so damn important to Olympic lifters in this country? Well, you’re about to find out.

Why the US Sucks at Olympic Lifting: OL’ing Part 4

At a first approximation, muscle mass would seem to be important to OL’ers and it is to some degree. First keep in mind that Olympic lifters compete within rigidly defined weight classes (though they tend to manipulate water to actually make weight). This tends to limit how much muscle mass can be carried within any weight class except for superheavyweight lifters who can be as big as they want (and as often as not the extra weight is blubber around the middle).

Why the US Sucks at Olympic Lifting: OL’ing Part 3

In Why the US Sucks at Olympic Lifting: Olympic Lifting Part 2, I gave a primer on the technique of Olympic lifting looking only at the snatch, clean and jerk. Continuing in that vein I want to now look at what physiological factors go into successful OL’ing performance as that will lead into the logical discussion of genetics, who’s the best and all the rest. To save it being too long, I’m going to split this into two parts. First a brief summary of the last two days.

Why the US Sucks at Olympic Lifting: OL’ing Part 2

Having looked yesterday in Why the US Sucks at Olympic Lifting: OL’ing Part 1 at the origin and history of weightlifting along with the basics of competition and judging I want to spend today giving a brief overview of the technique of the lifts. Please note, this is going to be extremely general and I will be leaving out a lot of details, much to the chagrin of those who know the lifts.

Why the US Sucks at Olympic Lifting: OL’ing Part 1

In the past (insert stupid number) of parts of this series I’ve looked at a ton of different sports systems to see if there are commonalities. And certainly there often are. Kenyan running, UK track cycling, the former Soviet Union, the GDR, Bulgaria, Australian swimming, the Chinese sports machine. All had their own approach to the ‘problem’ but approached it or got there in roughly similar ways.In the majority of cases, a combination of large numbers of athletes, access to the sport, incentives of some sort, support, coaching (and often drugs) were part and parcel of consistent sporting success.

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