WOMEN IN WEIGHTLIFTING
Females have not always been present in Weightlifting.
It wasn’t until 1987 that a women’s division was included in the World Weightlifting Championships. 100 athletes participated from 22 countries.
History was made in the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games when women were first able to compete at Olympic level. There were 85 athletes from 45 countries.
Historically weightlifting was not an attractive sport for the majority of women. Luckily there were some exceptions who helped to change this and establish women within the world of Weightlifting.
One of the pioneers of weightlifting was Ivy Russell of England.
Ivy began weightlifting in 1921 at the young age of 14. She went on to win the first women’s weightlifting competition sanctioned by the British Weightlifting Association.
Another prominent female was Abbye ‘Pudgy’ Stockton of America. Ivy helped to organise the first official weightlifting competition for women in America. In 1944 Ivy began writing a ‘Barbelles’ column on women’s weight training in Bob Hoffman’s Strength and Health magazine. This was one of the most popular bodybuilding and strength training magazines of its kind and helped to promote females lifting weights.
Current day weightlifting is booming for females (and males). In 2018 Las Vegas hosted the largest Weightlifting competition in history with 1,651 registered athletes!
Females such as Lidia Valentin, Matty Roggers & Hsing-Chun KUO are helping to inspire more and more females to find the barbell and realise the joy they can get from the sport of Weightlifting.