How to Watch Olympic Weight Lifting

1.Find an event to attend. Visit the U.S. Weight Lifting Web site (see Related Links) and click on the calendar icon to see a list of events. "You're going to see a dynamic and explosive sport," says Wes Barnett, two-time Olympic weight lifter who is currently training in Colorado Springs for the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia.
2.Understand the rules of Olympic weight lifting. "In competition, each lifter gets three lifts in the snatch, which is the first event, and then three lifts in the clean and jerk. The best lift in each is added up and that is how you get your total."
3.Listen to the announcer. "A good announcer will explain whether a lift is good, and also mention what is coming up next," Barnett says. "An announcer can make all the difference in your experience as a spectator."
4.Look for explosive lifts. "Olympic weight lifting is all about speed. Watch for the lifters to explode into the lifts as they set themselves. Watch for locked elbows at the finish of the lifts."
5.Keep an eye on the lights on the scoreboard. "As lifters put the weights down, look for the lights on the scoreboard. Three referees will press buttons: a white light if it is a good lift or a red light if the lift is not good. Two out of three rules, so if you see at least two white lights on the board you know the lifter will get credit for the lift."
6.Watch the different weight classes. "There are eight different weight classes for male lifters and seven for women," says Barnett. "These are based on the size of the lifters obviously. The women are up and coming and a lot of fun to watch."
7.Don't be afraid to cheer. "Olympic lifting is a lot of fun. The lifters really get excited when the crowd is into the event." 
Don't be confused between Olympic weight lifting and power lifting competitions. Olympic weight lifting is a sport that is built around just two different lifts.
Try to find an event that features both men and women lifters. 
Warnings: Stay out of the lifting areas. Weights can be dangerous.   

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