The Snatch event on day two of the 09 Games was the first of it's kind. Unlike USAW and IWF competitions, ten athletes took the stadium together, each with their own barbell. They were given ten minutes to reach a one rep maximum, taking weight from the ground to locked out overhead. If they achieved this in two or twenty reps, it made no difference.
Task completion was the focus of the challenge; the method by which they arrived was loosely dictated. It was a snatch, but without some of the specific requirements of traditional Oly-lifting meets.
"Press out, fine... knee touches the ground, fine," Tony Budding explained. Plus, beyond any of their own observations, the athletes were not made aware of the other competitors' attempts.
Coach Mike Burgener is the father and coach of Olympian Casey Burgener and owner of Mike's Gym. He is CrossFit's top Olympic Weightlifting coach, and his expertise is widely respected within the sport of lifting itself. He is a USA Weightlifting Senior International Coach, former junior World team (1996-2004) and senior World team coach (2005).
As both a CrossFit coach and a USAW coach, does he see the event as a bastardization of the snatch or as a legitimate alternative? "I think for what CrossFit stands for and what it's all about, it's great. In the military environment, the firefighting environment, the policing environment, and even the mother at home trying to lift something up, I think it's absolutely right on. I have no problems with it."
He made sure to highlight the need for consistency in judging, however, to differentiate the lifts from the clean. "As long as the judges understand that, it all becomes an issue of being in line with and in sequence with and consistent with (the standards). The judges need to be instructed that if it touches any part of the body, it's not a lift."