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A Wayfaring Local Weightlifter

July 11, 2008

Jeff Scott, a Montrose resident, is in Puerto Rico to compete in the 2008 XXII Pan-American Masters Olympic Weightlifting Championships, July 11 to 13. This annual competition brings together Olympic weightlifters from many countries in the Western Hemisphere and is being held this year at the Pabellon de la Paz in San Juan. At the end of September, he will travel to Greece to participate in the 24th IWF-World Weightlifting Championships to be held at Argostoli on the island of Kefalonia. Mr. Scott graduated from Croton-Harmon High School in the class of 1977.

In Olympic weightlifting, two events, or lifts, comprise the sport. One is the snatch in which competitors must lift the barbell over their heads from the floor in one continuous movement. The other is the clean and jerk in which competitors first “clean” the barbell from the floor to an intermediate position, “racking” the bar in a front squat, then standing up, and finally “jerking” the barbell to a position above the head. In both events, for a successful lift competitors must hold the bar steady above the head, with arms and legs straight and motionless.

Form is all-important in Olympic weightlifting. Three judges verify the successful completion of the lift. Once a competitor has met the requirements, the judge illuminates a white light. When at least two white lights are shown, the lift is regarded as successful, and the competitor may return the bar to the platform. If, in the opinion of a judge, the competitor fails to achieve a successful lift, a red light is shown. Two or more red lights disqualify the lift. In order for the lift to count, the bar must be lifted to at least knee level within 60 seconds after the bar has been loaded.


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