In the snatch, the bar is pulled in one explosive motion from the floor to full arm’s length overhead. In order to make the lift easier to perform, athletes typically bend their legs quickly while the bar is rising in order to catch the bar at arm’s length. The combined attributes of great strength and blinding speed are needed to accomplish this challenging event effectively. The best lifters in the world (in the lighter weight classes can lift as much as 2.5 times their bodyweight in the Snatch). The best superheavyweight weightlifters in history have lifted nearly 500 lb./227.5 kg. in this lift.*
*Taken from The Weightlifting Encyclopedia, by Artie Dreschler