Para-powerlifting is the ultimate test of upper body strength. The athletes are given three attempts and the winner is the athlete who lifts the highest number of kilograms.
Bench press is currently the only Para-powerlifting discipline contested at the Paralympic Games, with 10 weight divisions for male and female athletes. The competition is open to all athletes with cerebral palsy, spinal injuries, short stature, lower limb loss and les autres who meet minimum impairment criteria.
Competitors are required to lower the bar to their chest, hold it motionless on their chest and then press it upwards to arm’s length with locked elbows.
Lifting for athletes with an impairment first made an appearance at the Paralympic Games in 1964 in Tokyo, Japan, where athletes competed as ‘weightlifters’. Para-powerlifting was first introduced in 1984 alongside weightlifting, and by 1996 Para-powerlifting had replaced weightlifting at the Paralympic Games.