paul le

Analysing Data From Olympic Weightlifting Athletes

Olympic weightlifting is a an Olympic sport where an athlete competes by performing two lifts: the snatch and the clean & jerk. It’s a sport that I have developed an interest in over the past year. Being the nerd that I am, I was interested in doing some data analysis on Olympic weightlifting athletes.

Using data gathered from the International Weightlifting Federation’s website, I generated a few graphs using Python’s Matplotlib library comparing a number of variables affecting a weightlifter’s results at the Olympics.

There were two things that I wanted to analyze: how a weightlifter’s bodyweight compares with their total weight lifted, and the ratio between their snatch and clean & jerk lifts.

Total Weight Lifted vs. Bodyweight

Total vs. Bodyweight

The above plot shows the relationship between a weightlifter’s bodyweight, and their total weight lifted, plotted on a logarithmic scale. It’s pretty clear that this relationship isn’t linear, but more logarithmic (although it still deviates from a logarithm).

This is interesting, because I believe the Sinclair Coefficient, which offers a way of comparing lifters in different weight categories, also fundamentally is a logarithmic equation. This is most likely how it is derived, shown graphicaly.

Snatch vs. Clean & Jerk

Snatch to Clearn & Jerk Ratio

It’s common knowledge that there is a strong linear relationship between a weightlifter’s snatch and clean & jerk lifts, where the snatch should be around 80% of the clean & jerk. The above plot just shows this more clearly. The line of best fit for this dataset is 81 +/- 3%, which fits nicely with anecdotal knowledge.

January 24th, 2017