Strongman in the Arctic: Zydrunas Savickas Wins the IceMan

by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

He might have had some rough moments early in the contest, but as predicted, Zydrunas Savickas came back strongly and defended his title in the IceMan—an Arctic strongman challenge.

Group photo at the IceMan II, a strongman contest held in a stunning Arctic setting.  IronMind® | Courtesy of SCL.
Group photo at the IceMan II, a strongman contest held in a stunning Arctic setting.  IronMind® | Courtesy of SCL.

“The second day in the Iceman started with the Human Ski Lift, an arm over arm pull “where athletes pulled 6 girls on skis 20 meters uphill,” Ilkka Kinnunen reported to IronMind.  “Ervin Katona had the fastest time, using excellent technique.  His time was 26.18 seconds.  Etienne Smitt was second, at 27.43 seconds. and third was Johannes Årsjö at 32.63 seconds. 

“Next was the Log Lift (140 kg) for reps.  Savickas won with 9 reps; Ervin Katona and Konstantyn Ilin both did 7 reps.

“In third event of the day, the athletes lifted in Deadlift for reps a 320-kg brown bear. Zydrunas Savickas did only as many as he needed to take first place, 9 reps.  Martin Wildauer was second with 8 reps, then Johannes Årsjö, Rauno Heiinla and Ervin Katona equal with 6 reps.

“After three morning events athletes had few hours rest before hitting the last two events of the Iceman 2011.

“In Kuusamo city behind a great Hotel Kuusamo is a great amphitheater and it was packed with people.  The sky started to get dark and the temperature was under -10 C when first evening event, Truckpull and Loading, started. 

“First athletes had to load two 100-kg sacks on the end of the trcuk and then run to the front of the truck and pull it with a harness and rope: 12,500-kg heavy truck total, 20 meters. The athletes wore special mountaineering spikes [crampons] on their boots to get a good grip from the ground.  The best time was done by Zydrunas Savickas, 29.84 seconds; second was Johannes Årsjö, 32.43 seconds and third was Ervin Katona, 33.32 seconds.

“The last event was the Loghouse Carry using same system as in Car Walk.  Athletes had to carry the 360-kg Loghouse Frame a distance of 23 meters.  The fastest man was Big Z at 11.90 seconds, second ws Johannes Årsjö at 12.52 seconds and third was Etienne Smitt at 12.91 seconds.”

Here are the top eight final places and scores, officially:

1. Zydrunas Savickas 89.0
2. Johannnes Arsjo 86.5
3. Ervin Katona 80.0
4. Rauno Heinla 67.5
5. Konstantyn Ilin 60.0
6. Tomi Lotta 58.5
7. Etienne Smitt 56.0
8. Christian Savoie 52.5

Wasting no time in looking to next year, “IceMan 2012 is already signed and preparations will start next month,” Kinnunen told IronMind.


Want to talk strength or discuss this article?  Join the IronMind Forum!

You can also follow IronMind on Twitter.

Captains of Crush® Hand Grippers

The gold standard of grippers
This is the gripper that changed the world: 11 strengths.

Left-Turn Grippers

Left_Turn Gripper_news1
A new twist on grippers
If you think your left hand has gotten short shrift, meet IronMind's Left-Turn grippers.

Zenith: The Digital Fitness Gripper

New IronMind, the Zenith Gripper:
Bold looks, a different feelng and a new way to train for strong and healthy hands.


A new way to squat, dip, chin
ALight is all alluminum with no welds, nuts or bolts featuring beautifully crafted parts and portability on par with a bag of golf clubs.


SUPER SQUATS: How to Gain 30 Pounds of Muscle in 6 Weeks

A classic
The defnitive book on 20-rep squats, the mother of all bulk and power routines.

MILO®: A Journal for Serious Strength Athletes 
Universal power broker
We deal in kilos and meters, pounds and feet.

Strong-Enough™ Lifting Straps

IronMind: Strong-Enough Lifting Straps: Most popular" at WSM.  Proven daily by the world's strongest men.
Most popular" at WSM
Proven daily by the world's strongest men.

Expand-Your-Hand Bands

Say goodbye to tennis elbow
Prevent, eliminate or reduce tennis elbow and associated pains.  Simple, fun and effective.

IronMind: Tools of the Trade for Serious Strength Athletes . . . home of Captains of Crush Grippers, MILO, SUPER SQUATS, Just Protein, the Rolling Thunder, Mastery of Hand Strength . . .

Check out our Resource Pages for more information on grip training; Olympic-style weightlifting and weight training; and strongman and World's Strongest Man.