If you've never been to a weightlifting competition before or seen it on TV during the olympics it might seem a bit strange to you. Unlike a crossfit competition athletes are split into weight class rather than ability level, similar to wrestling. But unlike wrestling the athletes are battling each other in an overt way, rather they battle in extraordinary bursts of strength lifting often more than their own body weights over their heads.
They do this with two different types of lifts, the snatch and the clean and jerk. The snatch involves moving the barbell from the floor to the overhead position in one swift vastly impressive movement. The clean and jerk is split into two movements as indicated by the name. First the athlete "cleans" the bar from the floor just high enough to be able to catch it in a full squat and stand up with it. Since the bar doesn't have to go as high in the first movement as the snatch they can lift even heavier weights. Second the athlete "jerks" the bar from their shoulder to their fully extended arms. They do this by doing a small dip to essentially levitate the bar momentarily while they dive under the bar. It's hard to imagine throwing yourself in the line of nearly 300 pounds crashing to the ground, but that is exactly what they're doing.
Many of these athletes train for years perfecting movements as difficult as a golf swing and building strength that can move huge weights at incredible speeds. I love seeing the determination, dedication, and effort of these athletes cumulate into some of the most impressive feats of strength you can see anywhere. Congratulations to all the athletes on their lifts!