Freeform Weightlifting Olympics

Olympic weightlifting events are overdetermined and boring.

The Invention of the Fosbury Flop was great

When it was first invented, people must have had their minds blown. Yet, the modern olympics seems designed to prevent any further interesting changes. Everything about the physical strength events is totally determined.

Some freedom of choice should be introduced to events to make them more interesting.


Events should be defined in a more general way, and each competitor should choose their own method of completing the event.

Each event would consist of a task, a weight class, and a weight shape & weight.

Free Weight Classes

In this variant, total weight of a team is restricted, but not the number of people competing. So if the class was 200kg, a team could be made up of a single big competitor, or three smaller ones working together.

Nobody knows where the dividing line between individuals / teams is - at what weight level do two people become better? After a few years of this event, we would have a much better idea. A person is (support structure + muscle + physical independence + mind) - how to maximize effectiveness? Events could be things like:


If the event requires only one type of strength, contestants might remove parts of their bodies to reduce weight. If the event only used competitors legs, then the North Korean team might all have their arms removed, and use the free weight to add a few extra people to the team.

Free Weight Shapes

Weight shapes should not be predetermined; the rules would only specify the weight.

Depending on the type of movement needed, designs could roll, have handles, or even have large surfaces used to catch air.


Obviously you wouldn't want the weight to consist of an engine with gas inside; but, you could make it more free than what we have now. The first try would probably restrict materials to being rigid with no internal moving parts.

Since each contestant could provide their own weight, it could be a way for different countries to get an advantage by doing research & construction of better weights. Since all weights would have to be inspected, innovations would be rewarded the first time they appeared, but the 4 years between competitions would be enough for most countries to catch up.

It would also add a really exciting stage in the event where competitors would reveal what weights they would use.

Freeform Goals

The goal should be specified in a general way. There could be two types of events:

There could be these types of events:

In the past events have been removed from the Olympics because of difficulties restricting the form athletes used. So judging should be made possible to do mechanically, and individual motions should not be so restricted. If we want to test specific motions, the weights & goals should be chosen to make it most reasonable for competitors to do the motion we want to see.

Put it all together

Events could be:

The goal

Right now almost all weightlifting events select for about the same type of people - huge ones.

The weight classes do exert a small force pushing people towards specializing in one event, but not much. Ideally, freeform lifting would eventually come up with events which would select for completely different type of people.