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Old 08-07-2012, 09:35 PM   #1
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Default Powerlifting, a paralympic sport

So a friend of mine who is training for the paralympic powerlifting team sent me the roster she will be on...which begged the question "how is it a paralympic sport but not an olympic support?" Can some body shed light on this for me? Been pondering it all day

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Old 08-07-2012, 10:10 PM   #2
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So a friend of mine who is training for the paralympic powerlifting team sent me the roster she will be on...which begged the question "how is it a paralympic sport but not an olympic support?" Can some body shed light on this for me? Been pondering it all day

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I was told it has something to do with there not being one main international federation that everyone recognizes. I have no idea if this is true -- just what I've heard.
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Old 08-08-2012, 06:13 AM   #3
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I was told it has something to do with there not being one main international federation that everyone recognizes. I have no idea if this is true -- just what I've heard.
I think that could be part of it, but that's only really an issue in the States where Powerlifting is very fragmented. Across the rest of the world the IPF is fairly well recognised as the federation that would be chosen for this kind of thing. That has changed in recent years even in the UK as we have 3 new feds in the past 6 years, but these arguments were going on well before that happened. I think the real issue is that there is already a static barbell sport in the Olympics. Having two would be too similar.

(I'm for more federations, by the way. I don't agree with the stance that the IPF has over equipment. )

I think Strongman has a much better chance of getting into the Olympics. At least in the UK, the Olympics have already authorised their name to be used as part of a series of 'Olympic Strongman' competitions lined up for the next year. So that's a big boon for them and a very positive nod in that direction. We may even see Strongman as a guest sport in the next Olympics if this is any indication.

Bodybuilding as well is sufficiently different to warrant inclusion, in my opinion.
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Old 08-08-2012, 10:32 AM   #4
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I think the real issue is that there is already a static barbell sport in the Olympics. Having two would be too similar.
Maybe, that is the case. But if we can have different styles of swimming like butterfly, freestyle etc as separate events; if we can have different types of contact sports (wrestling, judo, boxing) as separate events, why not have different types of barbell sports too?


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Bodybuilding as well is sufficiently different to warrant inclusion, in my opinion.
With regard to bodybuilding, unfortunately, due to IFBB, I believe there is too much of a public misconception about this sport, and that negativity, more than anything else is holding it back. An argument I have heard before, against including bodybuilding is that it is too subjective - unlike a 100 mts dash where there is a clear winner, here we have judges who make decisions that are sometimes hotly contested. But then, gymnastics are just as subjective, so maybe this isnt much of an argument after all.
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Old 08-08-2012, 10:38 AM   #5
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Maybe, that is the case. But if we can have different styles of swimming like butterfly, freestyle etc as separate events; if we can have different types of contact sports (wrestling, judo, boxing) as separate events, why not have different types of barbell sports too?
I liked your post Kit I would love to see Powerlifting in the Olympics and as you rightfully say there are many different swimming and contact disciplines so why not for strength sports too. However I think the popularity and history of those sports also has something to do with it.

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But then, gymnastics are just as subjective, so maybe this isnt much of an argument after all.
Yes I think Bodybuilding has a good chance, it's a sport judged on style like gymnastics rather than on more tangible factors like weightlifting. The drug factor would make a difference though. But hey why would that even be any different? Hulk up in the off-season and move to less detectable compounds pre-Olympics.
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Old 08-08-2012, 10:43 AM   #6
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I recall reading that bodybuilding differed to other sports because there was no dynamic movement to be judged. I realise that sports such as diving, gymnastics etc are judged on their aesthetics of movement and points are deducted for a slip/fault but bodybuilding has no dynamic aspect when being viewed; powerlifting, on the other hand, obviously does.
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Old 08-08-2012, 10:53 AM   #7
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Disclaimer: I have no idea how selecting new sports for the olympics works.

I do wonder if powerlifting has an image problem. I know powerlifting competitions vary greatly from fed to fed and venue to venue, but to my mind some competitions I see on video do not look much like legitimate athletic competitions. I'm thinking about those contests where there is heavy metal blaring in the background as a 300lb guy waddles out in his suit and knee supports and proceeds to dip his knees by about 5" with 1100 lbs on his back, with another bunch of 300lb goateed guys screaming and hollering their approval.

I'm not mocking this - just pointing out that meets can sometimes look more like a cross between a monster truck pull and pro-wrestling than a sport. I wonder what impression this would leave on an IOC judge. And then if that is what powerlifting seems to be about, why not choose arm-wrestling or parkour or other fringe-y endeavours?
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Old 08-08-2012, 11:23 AM   #8
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I do wonder if powerlifting has an image problem. I know powerlifting competitions vary greatly from fed to fed and venue to venue, but to my mind some competitions I see on video do not look much like legitimate athletic competitions. I'm thinking about those contests where there is heavy metal blaring in the background as a 300lb guy waddles out in his suit and knee supports and proceeds to dip his knees by about 5" with 1100 lbs on his back, with another bunch of 300lb goateed guys screaming and hollering their approval.
Could be. Unfortunately, 95% of meets don't resemble that at all (as I'm sure you're aware). They are lucky to have more than one 275+ lifter. But perception is greater than reality. Just look at bodybuilding. Everyone perceives the NPC to have quality, packed, competition filled events, while they generally view natural bodybuilding as...huh, people actually do that? It's a sport?

Most of the natural bodybuilding contests I've been to were jam packed, well run, 2 day events bursting from the seems with passion, professionalism and competitors. On the other hand, I've seen NPC shows with 20 competitors, poorly run, and that did nothing for the sport at all but make it look like a fringe freak show.

I think both bodybuilding and powerlifting have perception problems, but the Internet is helping to change that.
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Old 08-08-2012, 07:28 AM   #9
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I guess the question I have is...are paralympic athletes capable of Olympic lifts? And if not, perhaps powerlifting slid in as a strength option for some of the reasons mentioned.
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Old 08-08-2012, 07:31 AM   #10
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I guess the question I have is...are paralympic athletes capable of Olympic lifts? And if not, perhaps powerlifting slid in as a strength option for some of the reasons mentioned.
Yeah, that's what I think the real reason is.

If they hadn't got rid of the Press from Weightlifting I don't think Powerlifting would be anywhere near as popular as it is now.
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