On the Eve of the Eve of the Summer Olympics' Opening Ceremony, G:TB would like to shed light on an oft over-looked nook of the Summer Olympics landscape: The 69 kg weight class of female weightlifters. We focus on this weight class because it is the most popular class (as defined by me). To convert kilograms to pounds, you need to multiply by 1.8 and add 32, so I believe this weight class is for 150-something pound ladies.
First, a mention on the lifts that they will perform: The Snatch and the Clean and Jerk. The editorial staff here has to fess up that they are torn between the merits of the two lifts. A perfect Snatch is always fun to look at, but a perfectly executed Clean and Jerk is satisfying in its own way.
Next, a primer on the rules. All of the sexy ladies will first give the Snatch their all. In this lift, the lifter lifts the weight directly from the floor to the overhead position while squatting. They then move from a squat to a standing position. Next, they move on to the Clean and Jerk. This lift involves lifting the weight to their chest, and then powering it up and moving one's legs to get the weight into the overhead position. Each lifter gets three attempts at each lift type. They announce their starting lift weight beforehand, and there is much chicanery and gamesmanship involved with picking a low/high starting weight as lifters try to out-think their foes. You can start high to psyche out your opponents, or you can start low and escalate your weight dramatically. We're talking intense strategery here. After all lifts are conducted, the woman with the highest combined total wins. In the event of a tie, the lighter woman wins. If both weigh the same, the one with the bigger penis wins. I think.
Now, let's talk about the favorites. The "pundits" at Sports Illustrated have thrown their lot behind Russia's Oxana "Ox" Slivenko. She is only 21, but she has been quite the phenom in the sport, having won the 2006 World Championship. However, G:TB feels that she is not seasoned enough and will buckle under the pressure in China.
Another favorite mentioned by SI is their choice for the bronze: The Armenian Hammer, Nazik Avdalyan. We've discussed her chances ad nauseam on this site, focusing on the raw power she channels from her uni-brows, so I'll spare the redundant comments. But I will say that she was great in Dodgeball.
So who is G:TB touting as the biggest breakthrough in weightlifting since Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri (better known as "The Iron Sheik")? None other than China's own Liu "Muscles" Chunhong. The editorial staff here feels strongly that the hometown fans, her training methods and her gender opacity will all help her cause.
Set your DVRs for the red-hot action in this weight class when it airs on August 13th. And hope that it's just a funny camel-toe you see in their spandex pants.