The Geographical Enigma of Top Achievements in Weightlifting

Shlomo Hareli, Gadi Katzir, Simcha Lev-Yadun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We examined the geography of top achievements in weightlifting in the Olympic Games for men (1992-2016), and women (2000-2016). Geographic origins of men are restricted to countries with a salient center around the Balkan and the Caucasus areas. This is especially evident for weightlifters in the upper body weight categories. Top achievements of women are more widely spread geographically, yet with clustering in the south-eastern part of Asia. Data on participation in the Olympic Games suggest that this unbalanced geographical spread of men is unlikely to be explained by cultural preferences but rather by specific physical adaptations. This conclusion receives further support from considering weight to height ratio of athletes winning gold medals relative to the average in the general population.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-60
JournalAdvances in Anthropology
StatePublished - 2020


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