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

IronMind® has just received the official details on the events and rules for the 2009 debut of World Strong Man Super Series (WSMSS), which is set for Bucharest, Romania on July 4.

World Strong Man Super Series (WSMSS) will be holding a contest in Bucharest this coming Saturday.  IronMind® | Artwork courtesy of WSMSS.

World Strong Man Super Series (WSMSS) will be holding a contest in Bucharest this coming Saturday.  IronMind® | Artwork courtesy of WSMSS.


Referring to the global economic downturn, Odd Haugen told IronMind®, “It’s been a tough year and we have had to retool a bit.  Ulf [Bengtsson] and I, as the principals, are taking on a lot more direct responsibility for WSMSS.  It’s going to be big.”

Events for the WSMSS Bucharest contest are:

Apollon’s Axle (to the shoulder and then overhead; last man standing)
Husafell Stone (180 kg)
Power Medley (Fingal Finger, Giant Farmer’s Walk)
Super Yoke (410-kg/20 meters)
Crucifix Hold (Viking swords)
Atlas Stones (5 stones: 120 kg to 206 kg/60 seconds)

WSMSS has a new website, where you can find additional details about what is being billed as “the ultimate world strongman tour.”
 


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

Bigger, heavier and more potent in every way, Fortissimus 2009 built on its base and improved - delivering a strongman contest that has no peer.

Life imitates art: Zydrunas Savickas lifts the symbol of Fortissimus.  IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo.
Life imitates art: Zydrunas Savickas lifts the symbol of Fortissimus.  IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo. 


With its overall goal of testing the strength of the world’s top professional strongmen, Fortissimus might seem to have much in common with other strongman contests, but what separates Fortissimus is its 10-event structure, heavy weights, ties to history and community support.  Here, passion rules the day and while dreams are nice, at Fortissimus, the dreams become reality.

The infrastructure of the contest evolved since last year, as new implements were developed, top international referees Marcel Mostert and Ilkka Kinnunen were added, a larger venue housed the event and prize money increased substantially.  In addition, a certification board was formed to oversee event and equipment standards, and Dione Wessels managed the all-important scorekeeping operation.  What remained unchanged was the commitment to the contest itself, its competitors and the traditions from which all of this sprang, so the net effect is that what had already been very good just got even better.

Coming into this year’s contest, strongman fans eagerly anticipated a rematch between 2008 winner Derek Poundstone and 2008 runner-up Zydrunas Savickas.  With so much being said about how this battle would shape up, it could easily have fizzled, but it didn’t, as one man’s advantage waxed and then waned, with their relative positions changing throughout the contest.

In the end, though, Zydrunas Savickas was the man who stood at the top of the heap - not just winning Fortissimus but also the IronMind® Overhead World Challenge and the Sigmarsson overall total poundage award as well.  Derek Poundstone showed once again that the word quit does not exist in his vocabulary.  Brian Shaw did himself proud, finishing third overall and winning the Slater King of Stones World Challenge, with such contest highlights as being the only man to load all the Atlas stones.

Here are the final results:

Zydrunas Savickas    124.5
Derek Poundstone     118
Brian Shaw                106.5
Travis Ortmayer          94
Mikhail Koklyaev         87
Phil Pfister                  82
Andrus Murumets       74
Louis-Philippe Jean    73.5
Terry Hollands            55.5
Mark Felix                   54
Christian Savoie         49
Agris Kazelniks           47
Jimmy Marku              32
Derek Boyer               24


 


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

Kerry Overfelt won the Ohio Scottish Games and Larry Brock won the Alaska Highland Games.


2009 Ohio Scottish Highland Games

Reported by Francis Brebner



Beautiful weather attracted more than 10,000 people to the Ohio Scottish Festival yesterday to witness a dominating performance by Kerry Overfelt, who caused a major upset with a thumping win over the current world champion, Sean Betz.


In the 28-lb. Braemar stone, the rules do not permit the moving or lifting of the feet, which is very difficult to do.  The event was won by Chris Chaffin with a huge throw of 35’ 3” that set a new ground record in the process.  Second was Sean Betz with 34’ 1” and third was Craig Smith with 33’ 2”.

But in the 16.4-lb. open stone, Betz made a comeback with a winning throw of 52’ 4”, with Smith in second at 51’ 1” and the Canadian champion Greg Hadley in third at 50’ 6”.


In the 56-lb. weight for distance, Kerry Overfelt produced a magnificent throw for the win with 45’ 3”; in second was Hadley at 42’ 9” and in third was Mark Valenti at 40’ 2”.

An exciting 22-lb. hammer competition came down to the wire, with Overfelt stealing the win from Betz with a distance of 107’ 5”, and Betz just inches behind at 107’ 2”.  Hadley was in third place at 102’ 9”.



The caber toss proved very difficult as the competitors were throwing on a dirt track, and only three turned the mighty stick, which was 19’ long and 132 lb.  Once again, Overfelt showed great form in a winning toss of 12:30.  Steve Pulcinella was second with 10:30 and Hadley third with 9:15.



In the 56-lb. weight over the bar, Kerry Overfelt used the spin technique and won with a height of 17’.  Second was Chris Chaffin, also using the spin, reaching 16’.  Third equal were Greg Hadley and Sean Betz using the traditional standing style, both clearing 15’.

There is no doubt that Overfelt is having a great season thus far, and we hope to see him in action at this year’s IHGF World Hammer Throwing Championships at Pleasanton in September.



Overall top three:

1.  Kerry Overfelt   63 points


2.  Sean Betz           56


3.  Greg Hadley       55



2009 Alaska Highland Games


Reported by Francis Brebner

The Alaska Highland Games this weekend saw Larry Brock take top honours, with veteran Ryan Vierra securing second place overall.


It has not been an easy start to the season for both these athletes, with Brock suffering from a nagging hip injury, which showed in his throwing in early May competitions, and it was worrying me whether he would be able to compete in this year’s world championships in Edinburgh, Scotland in July.  Vierra was suffering from major ankle problems and at one point it looked as if he might have to pull out of this year’s season as his impairment was causing so much difficulty in his training and throwing.  But both boys are back on track with a new ground record and impressive distances thrown at this year’s Alaska Games to prove it.


The event began with the 56-lb. weight for distance.  Brock blasted out a 46’ 7-1/2” throw for the win, with Vierra in second with 44’ 10-1/2” and Harrison Bailey III in third with 43’ 6”.

In the 18-lb. open stone, Vierra produced a winning throw of 47’ 1-1/2”, followed by Brock, who was just behind with 46’ 2-1/2”.  Bailey again took the third spot at 44’ 4”.


A great lead performance of 87’ 6” in the 28-lb. weight for distance was a clear sign to Brock that things were coming back together for him.  In second was Vierra at 83’ 7”, and Bailey took a consistent third with a throw of 79’ 5”.


The next event was the 20-lb. Braemar standing stone put, where we saw a new ground record established by Vierra with a distance of 40’ 4”.  Brock was only a half inch behind at 40’ 3-1/2”, and again Bailey was in third place with 39’ 6”.

In the following event with the 22-lb. hammer, Brock showed the great form that we are used to seeing from him with a very impressive throw of 116’ 4” for the win, with Bailey in second at 109’ 5” and Gregory Bell in third at 103’ 1”.

In the 16-lb. hammer, Brock triumphed again, blasting out a winning throw of 138’ 1”, with Vierra in second at 128’ 2” and Bailey in third at 124’ 8”.


The 56-lb. weight over the bar, which was done in the standing traditional style, turned out to be very interesting, with Andrew Hobson taking the win at 15’; Bailey coming in second with 14’; and James Parman and Bell in third equal with 13’.


The final event with the caber, which was 19’ and 130 lb., was won by Vierra with Brock in second and Bailey in third.


With this winning performance from Brock and his being back on track, I foresee a very interesting IHGF World Team Championships in Antigonish, Canada and IHGF World Championships in Edinburgh, Scotland for him.


Overall top three:


1.  Larry Brock


2.  Ryan Vierra


3.  Harrison Bailey III

 


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

Montmagny, Quebec - “There can only be one” and in 2009 Zydrunas Savickas is the one, as he won Fortissimus in convincing style.

Derek Poundstone was second and Brian Shaw was third. 

IronMind® posted event-by-event highlights on Twitter, so follow IronMind on Twitter if you would like to see how things unfolded and stay tuned for more details.


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

The Glenfiddich Championships series in the Highland Games continued at Drumtochty Castle, where Bruce Robb took the win.

Francis Brebner filed this report for IronMind®.

2009 Drumtochty Highland Games

Reported by Francis Brebner

The perfect weather conditions at the Drumtochty Highland Games in Scotland attracted a crowd of more than 5,000 to these fourth Games in the Glenfiddich Championships League.  The Games were opened by the chieftain, Lady Mary Forbes MBE of Newe, Strathdon, wife of the late major Sir Hamish Forbes, who was also patron of the Lonach Gathering.

The Games were held on the grounds of Drumtochty Castle with a total of 10 competitors, including top stars Bruce Robb, Craig Sinclair, and Stephen Aitken as the headliners.

In the opening event with the 16-lb. hammer, Craig Sinclair, who has been having a terrific start to the season and is currently ranked as Scotland’s number one in the hammers, kept up his winning performances with a captivating throw of 131’ 1”.  In second place was Stephen Aitken at 121’ 9” and in third place was Bruce Robb at 119’ 6”.


With the 22-lb. hammer, the order stayed the same as Sinclair again dominated with a mighty throw of 109’ 7”.  Aitken, in second, had a distance of 106’ 3”, and Robb, in third, threw 102’.


Going into the 27-lb. open stone, Robb made up some vital points with a winning throw of 37’ 10”.  In second place was the very young Lorne Colthart, who at age 18 years managed a very nice put of 36’.  For third place we witnessed a three-way tie between Aitken, David Dawson, and Sinclair Patience, each with a throw of 35’ 1”.

In the 18-lb. open stone, Robb claimed another win with a throw of 47’ 4”; in second was Aitken at 45’ 5” and in third, Dawson with 45’ 11”.


In the 28-lb. weight for distance, Craig Sinclair, who is also ranked number one in Scotland this season in the weight for distance, claimed his third win with a throw of 81’ 4”.  Robb took second with 78’ 11” and Patience came in third at 73’ 4”.  By the way, Sinclair Patience is the son of the former world champion himself, George Patience of Tain.
 


The 56-lb. weight for height was won by Robb at 14’ 6”, and there was a tie for second place between Sinclair and Aitken at 14’.

In the final event of the day, the caber toss at 19’ and 120-lb., Aitken won and was followed by Robb and Colthart in a tie for second place. 


Overall placings:


1. Bruce Robb

2. Stephen Aitken


3. Craig Sinclair


The next Games on the Scottish circuit will be the Kenmore Games on Wednesday night, 1 July, followed by the Cupar Games on Sunday, 5 July.  The next Games on the Glenfiddich circuit will be in Tomintoul on 18 July, followed by Stonehaven on 19 July.


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

Montmagny, Quebec - Making it look like it was just another day on the job for him, Zydrunas Savickas had an impressive first day at Fortissimus.

Zydrunas Savickas pounded out 11 reps on the Sigmarsson Wheels Deadlift at Fortissimus 2009 today.  Only Mark Felix did better on this event and Zydrunas Savickas ended the day with a strong lead.   IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo.
Zydrunas Savickas pounded out 11 reps on the Sigmarsson Wheels Deadlift at Fortissimus 2009 today.  Only Mark Felix did better on this event and Zydrunas Savickas ended the day with a strong lead.   IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo.


He won the Power Stairs (Pyamid of Strength) and the Super Yoke, came in second in the Sigmarsson Deadlift, won the first round of the IronMind® Overhead World Challenge and even though he dipped to fifth place in the first round of the Slater King of Stones World Challenge, Zydrunas Savickas ended the first day of Fortissimus with a strong lead.

Heavy was the word today, and nowhere was this more apparent than in the first round of the IronMind® Overhead World Challenge, where nobody got beyond the third of the five lifts in the medley.  The first round of the Slater King of Stones World Challenge also proved defiant, as only Brian Shaw loaded all six stones.

At the end of the first day, Zydrunas Savickas had established himself as the man to beat.  Here are the top ten:

1.  Zydrunas Savickas 64 points
2.  Derek Poundstone 58
3.  Brian Shaw 52.5
4.  Travis Ortmayer 49
5.  Mikhail Koklyaev 43
6.  Andrus Murumets 38
7.  Phil Pfister 37
8.  Terry Hollands 32.5
9.  Louis Philippe Jean 30
10. Agris Kazelniks 27
 


 


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

It came down to a duel between a past world record-holder and the current world record-holder in the Rolling Thunder, and when the dust settled, Mark Felix - the current world record-holder - prevailed.

He made it fly: Mark Felix blew up this 271-pound lift, defending his Rolling Thunder World Championship crown.  IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo.
He made it fly: Mark Felix blew up this 271-pound lift, defending his Rolling Thunder World Championship crown.  IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo.


But give Andrus Murumets his due, because tonight Mark Felix and he were the class of a very tough field - a field that had been whittled down to just four competitors by the time the weight hit 115.5 kg. 

Mark Felix and Andrus Murumets made the 115.5 kg easily, but Phil Pfister didn’t quite have the steam to make this weight and Odd Haugen completed the lift, but he hadn’t waited for Magnus Ver Magnusson’s down signal, so it was no lift. 

After Mark Felix and Andrus Murumets made 115.5 kg look light, they jumped to 123 kg, and once again, Mark Felix made it look simple.  When Andrus Murumets couldn’t complete the lift, Mark Felix - 2009 Rolling Thunder World Championship in hand - attacked his world record, taking 302 pounds, but it was a little too heavy even for him tonight.

Paul Ohl called the action - in French and in English - for a crowd of about 500 spectators, and lest anyone question the name of this event, the thunderstorm that broke out part way through the contest provided a level of theater beyond anything that might have been scripted.
 


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

Follow breaking IronMind® news and interesting strength-world tidbits on Twitter.

If you can't get enough IronMind® news and would also like easy access to strenth-world news flashed, follow IronMind on Twitter.


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

Montmagny, Quebec -  This is one of those drawings where you’d prefer to be at the top of the list, but 2008 Fortissimus winner Derek Poundstone was drawn for the leadoff position in this year’s contest.

Enjoying the serious business of strongman (left to right): Marcel Mostert, Paul Ohl, Magnus Ver Magnusson.  IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo.
Enjoying the serious business of strongman (left to right): Marcel Mostert, Paul Ohl, Magnus Ver Magnusson.  IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo.


The opening today included bestowing a Fortissimus Lifetime Achievement Award on four-time World’s Strongest Man winner Magnus Ver Magnusson, who in expressing his thanks, graciously saluted the organizing committee, since he said that he knew firsthand how difficult it is to organize a strongman contest.

Here’s the starting order for Fortissimus 2009:

Derek Poundstone
Brian Shaw
Derek Boyer
Andrus Murumets
Mark Felix
Agris Kazelniks
Mikhail Koklyaev
Zydrunas Savickas
Louis-Philippe Jean
Christian Savoie
Travis Ortmayer
Phil Pfister
Jimmy Marku
Terry Hollands
 


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

Tahvo Jauhojärvi, from Extreme Power, will be holding the 2009 Swedish Rolling Thunder Championships this Saturday, June 27, in Ockelbo, Sweden.

“There is a big and famous strongman contest with lot of spectators.  Everyone can enter between 2 and 4  p.m.,” Jauhojärvi told IronMind®.   “Everything is now ready.”

Also, Jauhojärvi said that he plans to make this an annual event, so jump on board now.

When asked by IronMind®, Tahvo Jauhojärvi explained a little about his unique background.

“I started my company in 2003.  I just had a corner in my living room with two suitcases of powerlifting gear at that time.

“The big thing for me now is my gym that I will open in two weeks.  It will be the first gym in Sweden only for competitors. There will be powerlifting, strongman training, armwrestling and so on.

“I have competed in benchpress since 1978.  I was on the Finnish Paralympic team in Atlanta.  I had a accident when I was 11 years, so I had to amputate one leg.  Now I am old (47), but still enjoy to compete in benchpress.  I have also been to Iceland and competed at World Strongest Disabled for six years in a row,” said Jauhojärvi.

For full details on the 2009 Swedish Rolling Thunder Championships, please check the announcement on the Extreme Power website.


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

Yes, there are rules governing how the barbell must be lowered to the platform in Olympic-style weightlifting competition, but that’s not what Jim Schmitz is talking about in his latest training article.

Dmitry Klokov combined squat snatches and presses behind the neck in the training hall at the 2007 World Weightlifting Championships (Chiang Mai, Thailand).  IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo.
Dmitry Klokov combined squat snatches and presses behind the neck in the training hall at the 2007 World Weightlifting Championships (Chiang Mai, Thailand).  IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo.
 

Instead, Schmitz is talking about how to safely lower the bar when you are doing repetition overhead lifts - whether in front of or behind the neck. 

Sure, if you are handling light weights, this is easy, but as soon as the weights get heavy, if you haven’t taken the time to learn how to do this properly, you’ll be on the road to an accident, an injury, or both.  On the other hand, once you learn the correct technique, you will gain all the benefits of being able to do heavy overhead lifts for repetitions.

Learn from an expert: Go to the Training Articles button at the top of the IronMind homepage and select “Schmitz on the Lifts,” or go directly to the "Schmitz on the Lifts" index page.


 
 


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

The 2009 Canadian Highland Games Championships ended with Greg Hadley earning his fifth Canadian title.


2009 Canadian Heavy Events Championships
by Francis Brebner with Greg Hadley reporting

The 2009 Canadian Scottish Athletic Federation National Championships were held this past weekend in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada.  Despite rain all weekend, Canada’s top 10 athletes, as determined by a sanctioned ranking system, assembled for a great competition.  The championships was a one-day contest of the seven traditional Scottish events.
 
Things got underway with the 17.3-lb. open stone.  Greg Hadley’s second round throw of 49’ 8” was enough to snag him first place.  Second was top Canadian track and field athlete Matt Doherty, with a put of 47’ 3”.  Third was taken by Saskatchewan native Jason Johnston at 43’ 7”.
 
Competitors then moved on to the 56-lb. weight for distance.  Hadley again claimed top honors with toss of 41’ 10”.  Right on his heels was Johnston at 41’ 4”.  Lyle Barron of Country Harbour, Nova Scotia, took third with 37’ 7”.  After the 56, the rain began to pick up speed, hampering the crowds.
 
The third event of the day was the 22-lb. Scottish hammer.  This time Lyle Barron took the field with a monster throw of 111’ 3” for a personal best and a new Canadian championships record.  Greg Hadley was second at 108’ 9”, with Johnston in third at 102’ 3”.
 
In an attempt to seize a break in the rain, the athletes moved on to the 28-lb. weight for distance.  Jason Johnston took first place with a throw of 76’ 6”.  Hadley and Matt Doherty rounded out the field with throws of 75’ 6” and 75’ 2”, respectively.
 
The 16-lb. hammer was next in line.  In a thrilling competition that saw many lead changes, Greg Hadley’s toss of 135’ 8” was enough for the win.  In second place was Lyle Barron at 133’ 2”, which was another personal best.
 
The competition caber followed.  Fashioned by Dirk Bishop and standing 21’ and officially weighing in at 122 lb., the caber defied all but three competitors.  Lyle Barron’s 11:45 was enough to beat Jamie Peppard’s 12:15 on countback.  Hadley came in third at 12:30.
 
The final event of the day was the 56-lb. weight for height.  Jason Johnston took top honors with a fine throw of 16’.  Danny Frame, of Nova Scotia, was second, also at 16’.  Christoph Wand and Greg Hadley shared third place at 15’.
 
After the dust settled, Greg Hadley claimed his fifth consecutive Canadian title, putting him second in wins behind 9-time champion Harry MacDonald.  Greg’s fifth title moved him one ahead of fellow Antigonish native Doug MacDonald.
 
Hadley was thrilled to win his fifth title and was quick to single out Lyle Barron as a thrower to watch in the next few years:  “Lyle is one of the world’s best caber tossers and one to keep a close eye on.”
 
Hadley also added, “Overall it was a fantastic day of throwing despite the weather.  The Moncton people did a great job organizing the event despite this being only their third year hosting a Games.  I’m feeling good now leading up to the 2009 IHGF World Team Championships in my hometown of Antigonish, Nova Scotia.”
 
Final placings:
1.  Greg Hadley
2.  Jason Johnston
3.  Lyle Barron
4.  Matt Doherty
5.  Dirk Bishop
6.  Christoph Wand
7.  Jamie Peppard
8.  Danny Frame
9.  Markus Wand
10.  Sean Langford
 


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

Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong lit up the Nevada City Classic yesterday and gave himself a very nice Father’s Day present in the process.

Lance Armstrong was unbeatable in Nevada City, an idyllic California Gold Rush town that among other distinctions is home to IronMind®’s world headquarters.  IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo.
Lance Armstrong was unbeatable in Nevada City, an idyllic California Gold Rush town that among other distinctions is home to IronMind®’s world headquarters.  IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo.

 
Nevada City, an historic California Gold Rush town with a population of 3,000 people, drew an estimated 30,000 wildly-cheering fans for its traditional Father’s Day bicycle races.  The Nevada City Classic, one of the longest-running bicycle races in the United States, is known for its punishing course in this picturesque setting, and it has been won by such elite cyclists as Greg Lemond, the first American to win the Tour de France.

Armstrong, who came out of retirement to chase his eighth Tour de France victory this year, rode in a three-man breakaway consisting of himself, teammate Levi Leipheimer, and Ben Jacques-Maynes, who, previously unknown to much of the crowd, was dubbed “the Bissell Team guy."  When Armstrong decided to drop the hammer, he motored away from the break, and he ended up winning with a 21-second lead over Jacques-Maynes, who beat Leipheimer by 1 second.

Nevada City is being considered for a stage of the 2010 Amgen Tour of California, a stage race that draws some of the world’s top names in cycling.


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

“Who will be the one?” asks Paul Ohl and a legion of strongman fans worldwide as Fortissimus 2009 draws near.

Fortissimus 2009: a 10-event strongman contest steeped in history and aimed at crowning “the strongest man on earth.”  IronMind® | Artwork courtesy of Fortissimus World Strength.
Fortissimus 2009: a 10-event strongman contest steeped in history and aimed at crowning “the strongest man on earth.”  IronMind® | Artwork courtesy of Fortissimus World Strength.


With less than a week to go until the curtain rises, IronMind® has received the official start list as well as well as some highlights as noted by Fortissimus World Strength, with an emphasis on “some amazing figures about the ten events that will decide on who will be the one strength athlete that will prevail.”

Here is the official start list:

1.  Derek Boyer (Australia/Fiji)
2.  Agris Kazelniks (Latvia)
3.  Mark Felix (United Kingdom/Grenada)
4.  Terry Hollands (United Kingdom)
5.  Louis-Philippe Jean (Canada)
6.  Mikhail Koklyaev (Russia)
7.  Philip Pfister (USA)
8.  Travis Ortmayer (USA)
9.  Jimmy Marku (United Kingdom)
10. Christian Savoie (Canada)
11. Derek Poundstone (USA)
12. Brian Shaw (USA)
13. Zydrunas Savickas (Lithuania)
14. Andrus Murumets (Estonia)

“Marcel Mostert (Netherlands) will serve as referee-in-chief, with Ilkka Kinnunen (Finland) as senior official and Marc Lauzon (Canada) as supervisor.  These will be the men in charge of the decathlon of strength whose total poundage will reach an unprecedented 16,447 lb., up by almost 19% over the inaugural edition of Fortissimus in 2008.

“Two events will decide of the king of overhead lifts (IronMind® Overhead World Challenge), a huge contest in itself with twelve two-arm and one-arm lifts at a combined 3,208 lb.

“As for the king of stones (Slater King of Stones World Challenge), another two events combining Atlas and natural stones of strength, the competitors will face 10 stones overall, a total of 3,905 lb., up by 40.5% over last year.

“The power stairs with three weight blocks have been increased to 1,475 lb., a leap of 55%.  The super yoke will be at 925 lb. on a course of 100 feet, up by 50 lb. and almost 20 feet over 2008, and the Sigmarsson Wheels deadlift, at 880 lb. for reps, will top last year’s challenge by 10%.

“Fortissimus 2009 has seven out of ten events that account for an average increase of 18.5%; that is just huge," said Paul Ohl, president of Fortissimus 2009.  "This tale of the tape may be as close as can be to the near limits of extreme human strength.  And this is exactly what defines the strongest man on Earth.  The only question now is: who will be the one?  And that question will find its definite answer this coming Sunday, June 28, 2009.  It will prove to be the experience of a lifetime for the athletes and for us.”

IronMind® will continue to have updates.  In addition, please check the official Fortissimus website for further details and ticket information.


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

Making a clean sweep of things this weekend, Bruce Robb won the Aberdeen Highland Games.

Francis Brebner filed this report for IronMind®.
 

2009 Aberdeen Highland Games
by Francis Brebner

Yesterday’s Aberdeen Highland Games were blessed with splendid weather conditions, which brought out more than 15,000 spectators.
 
Gregor Edmunds joined the star-studded lineup fresh from his victory last week in Bressuire, France, where he won the European Highland Games Championships.
 
Other big-name athletes, such as Bruce Robb, Craig Sinclair, and Stephen Aitkin, were also in the lineup.
 
Athletes began with the 22-lb. open stone, with a very strong fight between Edmunds and Robb, with Robb finally taking the win with a put of 45’ 4" .  Second was Edmunds with 43' 5", and third was Sinclair with 41'.
 
In the 16-lb. open stone, again Robb dominated with a winning distance of 53' 3"; second was England's David Dawson with 50' 5" and third and just a few inches behind was Aitkin with 50' 3".
 
The 28-lb. weight for distance was a close competition between Edmunds, Robb and Sinclair.  Edmunds snatched the win with a noble throw of 79' 5"; second was Robb at 78' 8" and third was Sinclair at 77' 9".
 
With the 22-lb. hammer, Sinclair let fly with the winning throw of 104' 6", with Robb in second with 100' 8".  Edmunds was in third with 100' 4", which was well below par for him.  Edmunds was suffering from an elbow injury but was coping quite well despite this setback to his performance.
 
In the next event, the 16-lb. hammer, Sinclair was going all out, giving no ground to his rivals, and he won this event with a distance of 125' 3".  Second was Edmunds with 121' 7" and third was Aitkin with 118' 4".
 
The caber was an interesting event indeed with Edmunds showing us his full power, being the only athlete to toss this mighty 19' 130-lb. caber, which had no taper at all, making it that much harder to judge the timing of the toss. And toss this mighty stick he did for a 12:12, for which Edmunds received a wave of thundering applause and cheers from the many thousands of spectators who had come to watch this mighty Highland Games super star in action.
 
In the last event, the 56-lb. weight over the bar, it was Robb who took the final win at a height of 15' 6"; second equal were Edmunds and Sinclair at 15'.
 
Overall top three for the Aberdeen Highland Games:

1. Bruce Robb
2. Gregor Edmunds
3. Craig Sinclair
 
Top four overall in the Glenffidich Open Championship League after three events:

1. Bruce Robb      106 points 
2. Craig Sinclair    89 
3. Stephen Aitken 84.5
4. David Dowson  53
 
Top four in the Junior Qualifying League (18-25 years old):
 
1. Sinclair Patience 86.5 points
2. John McLeod      71 
3. Lorne Colthart     45 
4. Dale Walker        44
 
The next event in the Glenffidich League will be at Drumtochty Highland Games on June 27.



 


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

Francis Brebner reported on the Oldmeldrum Highland Games for IronMind®, where a large crowd enjoyed perfect weather and some nice throwing.

Craig Sinclair on his way to winning the 16-lb. hammer.  IronMind® | Photo courtesy of Francis Brebner and Craig Sinclair.
Craig Sinclair on his way to winning the 16-lb. hammer.  IronMind® | Photo courtesy of Francis Brebner and Craig Sinclair.


2009 Oldmeldrum Games
by Francis Brebner
 
More than 9,000 spectators flocked to the Oldmeldrum Highland Games yesterday, which is the second Games in the Glenfiddich Grampian Highland Games series.  The weather was perfect for throwing, and after the Games was opened by First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond, our heavies got under way with the 16-lb. shot.
 
This event was won by Bruce Robb with a distance of 52’ 6”; in second was David Dawson of England with 50’ 10”, and in third was Stephen Aitkin with 49’ 4”.
 
Our band of heavies now moved straight into the 22-lb. shot, which ended in the same order as the previous event, with Robb in first at 44’ 1”, Dawson second at 42’ 6”, and Aitkin in third at 41’.
 
In the 28-lb. weight for distance, Craig Sinclair came out on top with a good winning distance of 81’ 1”, leaving Robb in second at 78’ 10” and Aitkin in third at 70’ 7”.
 
In the 16-lb. hammer, Craig Sinclair showed great technique and timing and let fly for a winning distance of 129’ 7”, not bad for throwing a little uphill at these Games.  In second was Aitkin at 124’ 6” and in third, Robb at 118’.
 
The following event, the 22-lb. hammer, again saw Sinclair take the win with a distance of 103’ 9”; Robb came in second at 99’ 1”, and Aitkin third at 98’ 6”.
 
The next event was the British Caber Tossing Championships and the caber was 110 lb. and 21’ long, with not much of a taper from what I remember.  The championships ended in a tie between Robb and Aitkin, who both had 12:00 tosses; third was Sinclair with a 12:10.
 
The final event of the day was the 56' weight over the bar, in which Robb took the win at a height of 15’; second was Aitkin at 14’ and in third was a newcomer to the sport, Stuart Anderson, with 13’.
 
Overall placings:

1.  Bruce Robb
2.  Stephen Aitkin
3.  Craig Sinclair
 
The next and third Games in the series will be today at Aberdeen City.  A total of twelve Games in all make up the series, which begins in early June and ends in September with the grand finale at the Royal Braemar Games, which is the largest Highland Games in Scotland and is attended by the queen and the royal family.


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

Set in the Tapout Research and Development Training Center in Las Vegas, the USA debut of the Professional Armwrestling League (PAL) last night featured two redhot matchups that were not to be missed, even if there were no tickets for sale . . . admission was limited to a guest list for this by-invitation-only event.


John Brzenk (right) weighed in at about 235 pounds and was said to have an arm in the range of 18 inches.  Denis Cyplenkov (left) weighed in at a little over 300 pounds and his arm was said to be over 24 inches.  IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo.
John Brzenk (right) weighed in at about 235 pounds and was said to have an arm in the range of 18 inches.  Denis Cyplenkov (left) weighed in at a little over 300 pounds and his arm was said to be over 24 inches.  IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo. 


The PAL supermatch format for what it calls “arm fights” is six rounds of arm wrestling, with two minutes' rest in between rounds.

Warming up the crowd were Michael Todd (USA) and Ion Oncescu (Romania) - two top-ranked arm wrestlers.  Although Michael Todd ended up winning all six matches, the battle was closer than that scorecard might suggest.

As great as Todd and Oncescu are, they were the preliminary bout, and the main event had the crowd electrified because it featured John Brzenk (USA) and Denis Cyplenkov (Russia).  John Brzenk’s accomplishments in arm wrestling are staggering, but what he was up against in this PAL supermatch was an arm that had even this seasoned crowd gawking - announced as being over 24 inches, the arm of Denis Cyplenkov has to be seen to be believed and next to the Russian wonder, John Brzenk looked small.

Of course, old timers remember how seriously outgunned John Brzenk was when he he met up with Rich Lupkes at Petaluma in 1988, and how John pulled off a victory in the tradition of David versus Goliath.  Could he do it again?

The answer was a resounding yes, as John Brzenk won the first five matches, and seemed to gain confidence as he went along - further burnishing what is the biggest name in the history of arm wrestling.


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

dotFit President and Chief Operating Officer Odd Haugen released the official WSMSS Bucharest Grand Prix contest announcement and start list to IronMind® today, along with an invitation to the press conference next week.

dotFit and Super Series are bringing big-time strongman to Bucharest, Romania.  IronMind® | Artwork courtesy of WSMSS.
dotFit and Super Series are bringing big-time strongman to Bucharest, Romania.  IronMind® | Artwork courtesy of WSMSS.


Combining the star power of two former World’s Strongest Man winners with some of the most talented new names on the professional strongman circuit, this Super Series event is being billed as part of “the ultimate world strongman tour,” and it is the long awaited 2009 season opener for Super Series.

Here is the official list of competitors:

Rolands Gulbis - Latvia
Brian Shaw - USA
Nick Best - USA
Kevin Nee - USA
Marshall White - USA
Janne Virtanen - Finland
Rikard Skog/NSM - Norway
Johannes Arsjo - Sweden
Mircea Parjol - Romania
Paul Parjol - Romania
Tarmo Mitt - Estonia
Stojan Todorchev-Bulgaria

The competition is set for July 4.  Stay tuned for more details.


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

The first stage Strongman Champions League (Serbia) will be broadcast on Eurosport tonight at 10:45 p.m. (20.45 hours) European time, Marcel Mostert told IronMind®.

Strongman Champions League competitions will be broadcast on Eurosport, starting tonight.

Strongman Champions League competitions will be broadcast on Eurosport, starting tonight.  IronMind®
 
“Eurosport is the number one European sports satellite and cable network, available in 54 countries and broadcasting in 20 different languages,” Mostert said.  “Replays will be also be broadcast also on Eurosport 2, which includes Asian and Arabic countries.”
 

Next Friday, the second stage of the Strongman Champions League (Finland), will be broadcast at 7:00 p.m. (19.00 hours) European time.

“I hope the fans will enjoy the program,” Mostert said.  “Unfortunately, I cannot see it because I will be refereeing in Canada with the best strongman athletes of the world at Fortissimus.  But saying that, of course I look very much forward to helping and making the Fortissimus contest a huge success with my referee colleagues Ilkka Kinnunen and Marc Lauzon.  We will give 110% next week, same as the athletes.  Also this show will be broadcast again later on Eurosport.”
 
“So, start your strongman TV season tonight, by watching the SCL Serbia on Eurosport,” said Mostert.


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

“It means a lot to win this title for the first time,” Stefán Sölvi Pétursson told IronMind®, as he commented on his victory at Iceland’s Strongest Man contest yesterday. 

Stefán Sölvi Pétursson on the Husafell Stone at yesterday’s Iceland’s Strongest Man contest - the biggest strongman title in the Land of Fire and Ice.  Stefán Sölvi Pétursson was so popular at Fortissimus 2008 that IronMind’s Randall Strossen told him that he was surprised Stefán Sölvi left Canada without a bride.  IronMind® | Photo courtesy of Vodvafikn. 
Stefán Sölvi Pétursson on the Husafell Stone at yesterday’s Iceland’s Strongest Man contest - the biggest strongman title in the Land of Fire and Ice.  Stefán Sölvi Pétursson was so popular at Fortissimus 2008 that IronMind’s Randall Strossen told him that he was surprised Stefán Sölvi left Canada without a bride.  IronMind® | Photo courtesy of Vodvafikn.


Yesterday's victory is just the beginning for the young Icelandic strongman.  “I hope to do so many times more,” he added, looking to build on his big win.  “I did not have time to celebrate . . .  Now it’s all about training and hoping to get to World’s Strongest Man!”


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

The Svend Karlsen DVD - "A Life in Power" - has just arrived at IronMind®.

Svend Karlsen has been a powerlifter, bodybuilder and a strongman - living a life of power.  Svend Karlsen is one of the most recognizable World’s Strongest Man winners, a multi-dimensional figure in the world of strongman, and this is his story. IronMind®
Svend Karlsen has been a powerlifter, bodybuilder and a strongman - living a life of power.  Svend Karlsen is one of the most recognizable World’s Strongest Man winners, a multi-dimensional figure in the world of strongman, and this is his story.

You’ve heard about it, been waiting and now you can order the DVD.
 


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

First held in 1985, Iceland’s Strongest Man contest has been home to some of the biggest names in strongman, and today Stefán Sölvi Pétursson added his name to the list of winners.

Organized and promoted by Hjalti Arnason, this contest was timed to coincide with Iceland’s Independence Day, with thousands of people on hand to enjoy the competition, Arnason explained.

Stefán Sölvi Pétursson “beat Boris [Haraldsson] with one point after six events: loading, Husafell stone, Truck Pull, Over head lift, Atlas Stones and 13 cm Squat lift,” Arnason told IronMind®.

Páll  Logason was third and Sturla Ólafsson was fourth.

To give a sense of this contest’s legacy, “when Jon Pall Sigmarrson won the title in 1985, he danced with the Husafell stone,” Arnason told IronMind®.  Hjalti Arnason was second that year and Magnus ver Magnusson was third.


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

After his injury this weekend, it was good to hear that Dutch strongman Jarno Hams’s surgery went well.

Jarno’s “operation for his patellar ligament went very well,” Marcel Mostert told IronMind® today.  “The doctor said that the injury was a ‘nice’ injury.  He meant that the rip [tear] was very clean and clear, and easy to put together again.

“Six months of recovery will follow and after that training can begin again,” continued Mostert. “He wants to come back!”
 


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

The Moncton Highland Games, this coming weekend, will serve as the 2009 Canadian Championships.

Here is a preview of the action to follow.


The 2009 Canadian Highland Games Championship
by Francis Brebner

The 2009 Canadian Championships are being held this upcoming weekend at the Moncton Highland Games in Moncton, New Brunswick.

The top 10 athletes as determined by the Canadian Scottish Athletic Federation ranking system have been invited.
The competition is one day (Sunday, June 21) and it is contesting the seven traditional events.
 
The lineup includes:

Greg Hadley:  four-time and defending Canadian Highland Games Championship
Jason Johnston:  the second-ranked in Canada and 2008 runner-up
Lyle Barron:  the third-ranked in Canada; defeated Hadley in a competition earlier this season
Dirk Bishop:  five-time World Masters Champion
Jamie Peppard
Danny Frame
Christoph Wand
Sean Langford
Markus Wand
Matt Doherty
 
Moncton is a young Games (in its third year), but it has risen to the challenge of hosting a major event.  The 2009 competition promises to be the closest Canadian Highland Games Championship in history.

For full details, please check the official website for the Moncton Highland Games.


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

When Fortissimus was conceived by Paul Ohl, one of its key features was its ties to the past - particularly important since Quebec is known as “the cradle of strong men” and Paul Ohl is doubtless the world’s leading authority on Quebec’s strongest son, Louis Cyr.

The Cyr/Poundstone 1883 Stone.  IronMind® | Photo by Nancy Labreque/courtesy of Fortissimus World Strength.
The Cyr/Poundstone 1883 Stone.  IronMind® | Photo by Nancy Labreque/courtesy of Fortissimus World Strength.


Last year, the battle for the inaugural Fortissimus title seemed to have been won by the mighty Zydrunas Savickas, but Derek Poundstone was yet to bat.  Poundstone did what was necessary to wrest the title from Zydrunas Savickas and how fitting that this was done not just on the last stone of the last event, but even better: this was the stone named in honor of Louis Cyr.
 
For the rest of the story, please read this statement from Fortissimus World Strength, prepared exclusively for IronMind®.
 

THE CYR/POUNDSTONE 1883 STONE AS THE FINAL TEST OF FORTISSIMUS 2009
by Fortissimus World Strength

Louis Cyr was 19 when he lifted the never-yet-moved boulder.  It happened on the third Sunday of May, 1883, in the backyard of the Suffolk Mills Factory, in Lowell , Massachusetts.  From the ground to the shoulder before a gathering of hundreds.

The stone was then moved by six men and weighed in at Olivier Gaudette’s general store.  It was recorded at 517 lb.  Returned to its original spot, it disappeared in 1903.

One-hundred-twenty-five years later, at Fortissimus 2008, Derek Poundstone hoisted the Louis Cyr’s stone replica on a 30-inch podium. The only competitor amongst a field of 13 world-class strength athletes to achieve the lift.

In fact, the stone weighed 530 lb., as reported by Marc Lauzon, Fortissimus 2009’s supervisor, after the official weighing of the competition’s implements, on May 30, 2009.

With the result that the stone has since been engraved with Derek Poundstone’s name on it, along with Louis Cyr’s.  Also engraved was the date of Pounstone’s achievement: June 29, 2008.


“The stone will now be a part of strength’s hall of fame," said Paul Ohl, president of Fortissimus 2009.  "And the best strongmen in the world will have something to aim at.”

The Cyr/Poundstone Stone will be the very last lift at Fortissimus 2009.  And it may very well decide of the winner once again.


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

There’s a lot of hand wringing in Olympic-style weightlifting - not just from lifters grinding chalk into their hands, but also from people bemoaning the state of the sport.

At the 2009 Pacific Weightlifting Association (PWA) Championships in February, Donovan Ford hit this 175-kg clean and jerk, part of his clean sweep of the Junior Men’s PWA records.  IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo.
At the 2009 Pacific Weightlifting Association (PWA) Championships in February, Donovan Ford hit this 175-kg clean and jerk, part of his clean sweep of the Junior Men’s PWA records.  IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo.


Not so in Northern California, where a mighty legacy, top talent across the board, and a recent surge from the next generation is making things look better than good.

Take Hassle Free Barbell Club, half of which is headed by Kevin Doherty at Lincoln High School in San Francisco, while his brother Paul steers the ship’s other half at Sacramento High School.  Don’t talk about a paradigm crisis to these guys - they’re getting on the board, looking ahead, not just talking about placing lifters on top international teams, but going for the jugular as they dare to mention bringing weightlifting medals back to the USA.

This is no short story and this weekend another chapter is being written.
 
“Having walked the walk thus far this year by winning the Junior Nationals in a big way, Hassle Free's Donovan Ford will have his hands full this weekend as he takes on the world's best in Bucharest,” Paul Doherty told IronMind®.  “Flying out to Romania tomorrow, Donovan is in the best shape of his life, weighing in at a much-improved 102 kilos and having [recently] hit PRs in the snatch (144 kg) and clean and jerk (182 kg).  His 320-kg total from the Junior Nationals puts him 7th on the start list [at the Junior World Championships[, and [he is] the only man in the A-session for Team USA.”
 
Not resting on their laurels, though, Paul Doherty added, “Expecting to improve further on his 320-kg total, Donovan will look to jump into the top tier of USA Weightlifting to earn an invitation to the Senior World Team Trials in August.”

Incidentally, IronMind®’s Randall Strossen recently had the privilege of stopping by Sacramento High to witness one of weightlifting team's workouts in person -  you can read about it the June issue of MILO.


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

The two-time WSM finalist and IronMind® Rolling Thunder® World Champion, Mark Felix, immediately accepted to face the Fortissimus challenge as he reported ready to go to Paul Ohl, president of Fortissimus 2009, this as a result of Jarno Hams injury - all of this just in and official, straight from Fortissimus.

Mark Felix, a crowd favorite at Fortissimus 2008, is joining the field in Fortissimus 2009, as well as being the man to beat at the IronMind® Rolling Thunder® World Championships.  IronMind® | Marc-Andre Torneaux photo, courtesy of Fortissimus World Strength.
Mark Felix, a crowd favorite at Fortissimus 2008, is joining the field in Fortissimus 2009, as well as being the man to beat at the IronMind® Rolling Thunder® World Championships.  IronMind® | Marc-Andre Torneaux photo, courtesy of Fortissimus World Strength.


According to the written statement received by IronMind®:

A sad news and a good news.  Nobody from the Fortissimus organization had forgotten Mark Felix.  He was a crowd favorite last year and will be again this year.  But most of all, he is an example of resilience, a man with a will of iron.  Not only will he try to break his world record at the IronMind® Rolling Thunder® World Championships, but he will have a shot at the Sigmarsson Wheels deadlift record at the competition.  This is great for the sport.


To this, IronMind® would add that if you have not yet gotten one, this is place to check to see if tickets to Fortissimus 2009 are still available.


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

Marcel Mostert has just given IronMind® an update on Dutch strongman Jarno Hams who was injured this weekend while competing in the Strongman Champions League - Holland contest.

Mostert said that Jarno’s “ligament of his knee was totally [torn] off!  They are going to operate on him this evening, and he will be out for at least 8 months . . . I’m very sad about this, of course."


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

Strongman Champions League (SCL) co-founder Marcel Mostert filed this special report of the SCL-Holland competition this weekend, where Mikhail (Misha) Koklyaev turned in an impressive performance.

Misha Koklyaev won the Strongman Champions League competition in Holland this weekend.  IronMind® | Marcel Mostert photo.
Misha Koklyaev won the Strongman Champions League competition in Holland this weekend.  IronMind® | Marcel Mostert photo.

Strongman Champions League: Misha Koklyaev Rules . . . Jarno Hams New Dutch Record in the Log, But Is Out of Fortissimus!
by Marcel Mostert

We had a bad start of the day as the weather started with heavy showers.  Still, the show must go on and after a delay of one hour, we did log lifting in the rain.  Raw power against the rough nature with her weather elements.

Surprisingly, Jarno Hams won the log lift in a new Dutch record of 177.5 kg, so his start looked promising in his home country.  Misha Koklyaev and Agris Kazelniks just followed, 2.5 kg behind. Jani Kohlemainen from Finland hurt his biceps and had to step out of the competition.  Meantime, the weather got better and the sun started to shine again.
 
But the second event, the medley, made Jarno's perfect start a bad day in his career.  Just coming over the finish line with the 380-kg yoke from the medley, something tore in his left leg, and he had to leave the field by ambulance.  It was a very sad moment for the athletes and fans, as the crowd just survived the rain.  Jarno immediately realized that he will be out for Fortissimus this year, a big pity as he just showed his perfect shape with a new Dutch log lift record.
 
But the battle continued.

Misha Koklyaev did what he came for, to take the title and he won the SCL Holland. The battle for second place was between Agris Kazelniks and Richard van der Linden, a relatively new Dutch athlete in strongman and second in the Holland National Championships last year, Matt Wanat from the USA and Jimmy Laureys from Belgium

Agris took second place overall because he was just more experienced in strongman than Matt and Richard.  Richard was third overall and was very happy with this result.  At least Holland’s honour kept high in this scenario of the day.  Matt and Jimmy made a real tight finish for fourth and fifth place, separated by just a half point.
 
Levi Veoga, the great strongman and showman from New Zealand, did very well and impressed everyone with his 200-kg bodyweight and his warrior dance.  The crowd loved it.
 
Top 6 results:
 
1. Misha Koklyaev               64 points
2. Agris Kazelniks                50.5
3. Richard van der Linden    46
4. Matt Wanat                     40.5
5. Jimmy Laureys                 40
6. Levi Veoga                      33
 


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

Just as the three most important things driving the value of real estate are location, location, location, the venue for each year’s World’s Strongest Man contest turns into a geographic guessing game until IMG officially announces it.

Thirty Years of Pain - the history of the World’s Strongest Man.  IronMind® | Artwork courtesy of IMG.
Thirty Years of Pain - the history of the World’s Strongest Man.  IronMind® | Artwork courtesy of IMG. 
 

Despite a press release mistakenly declaring Charleston, West Virginia as the location for the 2009 World’s Strongest Man contest, IronMind® has been told by someone who knows that “it’s not West Virginia,” which, frankly, gibes with unofficial information from a variety of independent sources.  IronMind® has also been told that “nothing is set in stone yet,” so we urge all World’s Strongest Man fans to sit tight a bit longer as wherever it ends up being held, the contest will be, as ever, the biggest thing to hit the strongman world.
 
Also, while IronMind® has it from a definitive source that the announcement regarding Charleston, West Virginia as the location for the 2009 World’s Strongest Man contest is absolutely incorrect, we did not hear that the possibility of winning a trip to the finals of this year’s contest was equally off base.  So, if you buy the new World’s Strongest Man DVD, Thirty Years of Pain, besides getting the inside story on WSM, the possibility might remain of this qualifying you for some sort of drawing.
 
So, once again, sit tight: the location of the World’s Strongest Man contest is never certain until it is announced officially, and even then details are subject to change.


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

This weekend’s Kansas City Highland Games were packed with action, including a sensational 18’ 5” throw in the 56-lb. weight for height by Mike Zolkewicz.


Francis Brebner filed this report for IronMind®.


2009 Kansas City Highland Games
by Francis Brebner

The Kansas City Highland Games this weekend were the host of this year’s USA National Weight for Distance Championships, which had a star lineup of the best American athletes from all across the nation.

The conditions were a little muddy but still big distances were thrown by all.

In the 22-lb. Braemar stone it was Sean Betz who took the first win with a distance 41' 6".  Second was Mike Zolkiewicz with 40' 10" and third was Dan McKim 40' 4".

In the 56-lb. weight for distance, Eric Frasure narrowly took the win over Kerry Overfelt with a throw of 44'.  In second was Kerry Overfelt with 43' 8" and Mike Zolkiewicz third with 43' 3".

Going into the 28-lb. weight for distance, it was very tense between Frasure and Overfelt, with Frasure finally securing the win and the title of USA National Weight for Distance Champion with a throw of  84' 5". In second was Overfelt with 83' 9" and once again in third was Zolkiewicz with 82'.

In the 16-lb. hammer, it was Overfelt who got some payback with a winning distance of 133' 6".  Second was Dan McKim with a 133' 4" and Larry Brock was third with 128' 11".

In the caber toss, which was a monster and as big at the bottom, weighing 135 lb. and 19' long, it was Mike Zolkiewicz with a toss of 12:30 that took first place, with Betz in second with 1:30 and surprisingly, Dan McKim in third spot with 89 degrees.

In the 56-lb. weight over the bar done in the traditional standing style, it was Zolkiewicz who dominated with a throw of 18' 5" for the win and set new American record in the process.  In second was Overfelt with 17' and Betz in third with 16'.

The final event of the competition was the 20-lb. sheaf toss done from a standing position; Frasure took the win with a height of 35', with both Betz and McKim clearing 34’ for a new PR for both with Betz taking second spot over McKim on countback in the sheaf.
 
Top three overall positions

Kerry Overfelt     19 pts
Sean Betz           20 pts
Mike Zolkiewicz  23 pts
 
Sean Betz commented on Zolkiewicz’s throw in the 56-lb. weight over the bar saying, “That's the best performance I've seen at a Games with his throw of 18' 5" with a very standard weight.”


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

In a storybook setting, Gregor Edmunds held off the charging field and captured the 2009 European Highland Games Championships.

The podium and key officials at the 2009 European Highland Games Championships.  IronMind® | Photo courtesy of Francis Brebner.
The podium and key officials at the 2009 European Highland Games Championships.  IronMind® | Photo courtesy of Francis Brebner.


Francis Brebner filed this report for IronMind®.

Gregor Edmunds Wins the European Highland Games Championships
by Francis Brebner

The second day of the European Championships were gifted again with perfect throwing condition with a packed crowd of more than 8,000 spectators.

Opening ceremonies were done once again by the mayor of Bressuire before our group of eager heavies got under way with the 22-lb. Braemar stone.

This was a very tight battle between the athletes right until the end of this event with Gregor Edmunds being the triumphant winner with a put of 39' 6”.  In second place was Tommy De Bruyn from Belgium with 37' 11” and Hans Lolkema from Holland in third with 35' 6”.

In the 16-lb. hammer this once again proved to be a real ding dong battle with Craig Sinclair sealing the win on his last throw for the victory over Edmunds with a distance of 132' 6”, which left Edmunds in second place with 128' 1” and Tommy de Bruyn in third with 122' 7”.

Going into the third event of the day, the 28-lb. weight for distance, it was Craig Sinclair who applied the pressure with a greet opening throw of 76' 10” for the win which left Hans Lolkema in second place with 75' 9” and a surprising Edmunds in third place with 73' 11”.

The 56-lb. weight over the bar had a very interesting outcome with Hans Lolkema dominating with a winning, height of 15' 6”.  In second place was Tommy de Bruyn with a height of 15' and in shared third place were Craig Sinclair and Gregor Edmunds at 14' 6”.

At this point in the competition, with only the caber toss left, the points could not have been closer, with Edmunds in first place with 14.5 points; in second, Sinclair with 16.5; and Lolkema in third, with 17.

The final event was the Bressuire caber which had never been tossed before and at a length of 19' and 135 lb. this was to prove a very difficult stick for many.

Only two athletes were to toss this caber, Edmunds and Lolkema, with both sharing the win with each landing a 12 o'clock toss which pulled Lolkema well up in points to claim the second place over Sinclair.

The final overall point were as follows:

1. Gregor Edmunds (Scotland) 16 points
2. Hans Lolkema (Holland) 18.5 points
3. Craig Sinclair (Scotland) 20.5 points
4. Tommy de Bruyn (Belgium) 28 points
5. Stephen King (Scotland) 45.5 points
6. Audunn Jonsson (Iceland) 48 points
7. Craig Smith (Scotland) 53.5 points
8. Anthony Lordi (Switzerland) 63 points
9. Geir Standal (Norway) 67 points
 


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

The Association of Oldetime Barbell & Strongmen honored Bruce Wilhelm, Bill Seno and Carlo Dunlap at this year’s annual dinner.

Wilhelm - who was world class in three Olympic sports - did double duty this year, presenting a seminar in the afternoon and receiving an award in the evening, and his seminar was vintage Bruce Wilhelm . . . colorful stories from the man who once said, “I should have been a clown,” paused and then added, “I am a clown.”  Anyone who was in Bruce Wilhelm’s former store in Daly City, California when a UPS delivery arrived could attest to the man’s ability to turn even such an ordinary setting into a riotous sitcom.

Congratulations, all.


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

Set in picturesque Bressuire, France, the 2009 European Highland Games Championships began yesterday and Gregor Edmunds is in the lead.

Gregor Edmunds on the 16-lb. stone.  IronMind® | Francis Brebner photo.
Gregor Edmunds on the 16-lb. stone.  IronMind® | Francis Brebner photo.


Francis Brebner filed this special report for IronMind®.

2009 European Highland Games Championships - Day 1
by Francis Brebner

The  European Highland Games Championships in Bressuire, France got off to a great start for our heavy athletes as a blue sky and a gold sun shone upon them.

A special reception service was laid in honor to welcome the athletes to Bressuire, which was held by the organizing committee and the mayor of Bressuire and attended by press, radio and local TV in the lovely grounds of the Bressuire town house.

Afterward the athletes made their way to the Bressuire Castle, where a banquet was laid out for these monster men before they prepared for the afternoon’s battle.

After the opening ceremonies were done by the town mayor, our heavy athletes got under way with the first event of the European Championships, which was the 16-lb. open stone.

It was a very close competition between Gregor Edmunds of Scotland and Hans Lolkema of Holland with Gregor taking the first win with a put of 48' 8".  In second was Hans Lolkema with 46' 10" and in third was Scotland’s Craig Sinclair with a putt of 43' 5".

In the following event, the 22-lb. hammer, it was Craig Sinclair who snatched the win from Edmunds on his last throw with a distance of 113' 8".  In second was Edmunds with 107' 3" and in third was Hans Lolkema with a distance 102' 5".

In the 56-lb. weight for distance, Hans Lolkema, with on his last attempt, overtook Edmunds with a distance of 36' 8".  Second was Edmunds with 34' 6" and in third was Sinclair with 33' 3".

The final event of the day, which was non-scoring for the overall, this entailed throwing a 56-lb. beer barrel over the bar.  Hans Lolkema won this event with a height of 15' 8" and came very close on extra attempts to setting a new ground record.

Overall points after day one were as follows:

1. Gregor Edmunds (Scotland) 5 points
2. Hans Lolkema (Holland) 6 points
3. Craig Sinclair (Scotland) 7 points
4. Tommy de Bruyn (Belgium) 12 points
5. Stephen King (Scotland) 17 points
6. Craig Smith (Scotland) 19 points
7. Anthony Lordi (Switzerland) 21 points
8. Audunn Jonsson (Iceland) 8 points
9. Geir Standal (Norway) 26 points

Final events today will include 22-lb. Bremaer stone, 16-lb. hammer, 28-lb. weight for distance, caber and weight over the bar.


 


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

D. J. Satterfield, president of the North American Highlander Association (NAHA), told IronMind®, “We will be holding our inaugural event this weekend, the JWC Highlander in Kirksville, Missourri, with 10 more contests following from now until November.

"We currently have 11 contests listed, with more on the way.  There are varying levels of skill offered with the highlight being NAHA Nationals September 19, in Abilene, Kansas.  We also have 15 state chairs now, so we are very excited about this and the interest that is still growing. We hope to have representation in 20 - 25 states by the end of the year.”


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

Saying, “Yeah, I will take part in the contest!  I hopefully will do a little better than last time.” Terry Hollands confirmed his participation in the 2009 IronMind® Rolling Thunder® World Championships kicking off Fortissimus.

The phrase “better than last time” might be misleading as one might think Terry Hollands tanked, which is hardly the case: He is coming off a second-place finish at the IronMind®–Mohegan Sun Rolling Thunder Championships at the Giants Live strongman competition, and Terry Hollands was also a member of the four-man team tied for second place at the 2008 IronMind® Rolling Thunder® World Championships, where he, Odd Haugen, Karl Gillingham and Brian Shaw all hit 255 pounds.


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

Saying that he saw the traditional Highland Games to be “about as exciting as watching paint dry,” Douglas Edmunds has thrown his considerable shoulder behind his latest focus in the strength world, something he calls the Highlander Games, which he sees as the “sexed up” version of the traditional Highland Games.

Taking issue with what he terms “the so-called traditionalists,” Edmunds asserted that his Highlander Games actually have ties to not just more interesting, but also deeper historical roots.

Leaving the question of historical accuracy in this area to others better equipped to sort the facts from the fiction, IronMind® turned to five top-tier Highland Games competitors, all of whom also have more than a passing familiarity with Douglas Edmunds’s place in the history of strength sports and his latest venture, the Highlander Games.  Simply, we asked each if he would be participating in Douglas Edmunds' upcoming Highlander Games and opened the door for comments.

Responding in no uncertain terms, one of those asked said that he “will not be attending the Doug Edmunds’ Highlander Games,” adding, “nor will I ever attend another event that Doug Edmunds is involved in.  In my opinion he has defaced the Highland Games with his recent comments in the Scottish papers bashing the [Highland Games] World Championships and David Webster in a personal vendetta.  His antics in the [the past] have been very unpopular to say the least, but his recent venture to boost his Highlander Games and bash the traditionalists, and in the process throw David Webster under a bus is uncalled for and must be addressed.”

IronMind® would quick add that without David Webster, OBE, a lot of iron game history would be lost and if ever a man has worked tirelessly to support the traditional Highland Games, that man is David Webster.  It seems to IronMind® almost as if one should have to pass a test before being allowed to criticize someone in David Webster’s position - this writer’s suspicion is that some of the people most actively tossing stones in David Webster’s direction wouldn’t be allowed to speak under these conditions.

Another top Highland Games competitor told IronMind®, “I respect Doug and Gregor for what they are doing to promote strength athletics and they have done good for the Games and for Scotland.  With that said, I really do enjoy the Scottish Highland Games as we know them today and I really enjoy competing in the Games that have made things the way they are.  Even though they are not highly promoted with TV, etc., there is still something about going to the Aboyne games or the Inverary Games and competing in locations where the Games have been going on for hundreds of years.  I think about the Games where the greats have competed (Bill Anderson, Grant Anderson, Hamish Davidson, Alistair Gunn, Francis Brebner, etc.) and I really enjoy those Games.”

“I am a big fan of the [Highlander] competition format,” said another athlete polled by IronMind®, “and have always enjoyed competing in both strongman and Highland Games.  Events like the Manhood Stones, Farmer's Walk, McGlashen Stone, etc. have a long history in Scotland of course, and any good caber tosser or weight thrower should do well in those competitions too.  The only downside I see is that while Highland Games athletes are subjected to mandatory drug testing throughout the season, strongmen competitors aren't. This can make for a very uneven playing field!  I'm not one to accuse everybody who beats me of being on drugs, and I enjoy competing with guys like Koklyaev, Wenta and Mark Felix, etc., but when you have to strip down and wrestle a WSM finalist you end up feeling like you brought a banana to a gun fight.”

IronMind would add that Douglas Edmunds has pointed to the absence of drug testing in his Highlander Games as being an advantage, while the traditional Highland Games contests are drug tested, so at least for the foreseeable future, the question of drug testing will be line in the sand, separating Edmunds’ Highlander Games and the traditional Highland Games.

Another world-class Highland Games competitor obviously was not cowed by Edmunds’ comment that his Highlander Games “isn’t some silly thing farmers do,” and Betz said to IronMind, “I am more like a farmer than a gladiator.”

“Silly farmers?” IronMind® would ask.  When we think of farmers, we think of people like Ben Plucknett, Richard Lupkes and Steve Justa, to name a few, and if we wanted to go back a few years, how about Bob Peoples or Wilbur Miller?  Are these guys silly farmers?  We think not.

“Upon reading the article about this year’s Highlander Championships I was very disappointed with Douglas Edmunds regarding the comments of the so-called traditionalists,” another Highland Games athlete told IronMind®, someone who calls Douglas “a dear friend.”

“To think this is where he and his son began competing, in traditional heavy events where both became very successful, and to say that the concept of the Highlander isn’t some silly thing farmers do such as throwing the heavy and light hammer, is to criticize the tradition of the sport where they both began.

“Traditional [Highland] Games have been around for centuries and thrive in every corner of the world, and they still pull a big gate attendance,” he added.  “And as for the mention of battle axes, mercenaries, jousting, combat, warrior-like tests and challenges, is this really sport or have anything to do with sports?  We are competing and talking about Traditional Highland Games here, not war.

“This Highlander concept theme is nothing new; I remember when Douglas was combining Highland Games and strongman events very successfully for the last 20 years or so, this was in part was for the strongmen competing to give them a chance as they were not throwers.

“I really do wish Douglas all the best with his Highlander, but let’s put an end to this internal strife that has been read in many of the tabloids of this past year, mostly against the [Highland Games] World Championship Homecoming 2009.  David Webster has done nothing but uphold and honor this great sport and does not deserve this.  Douglas with his Highlander Challenge should now work now on building the sport instead of dividing it and we should applaud the athletes for all their achievements as there is room for all in the sport of Highland Games, even this new theme of the Highlander Challenge which I don’t condone,” this athlete concluded.

This final thought is where IronMind® ends up, too: there is no need to consider this a zero-sum game, as there is plenty of room for both the traditional Highland Games and the Highlander concept, and there certainly is “no need cut off a man at the knees, to make oneself appear taller,” as a wise Scot once told me.  And as another prominent strength athlete told IronMind®, “Doug does have a knack for being inflammatory.  It's a shame because I don't want the Highlander concept to get a bad rap because of him.”


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

“Louis-Philippe Jean and Christian Savoie, the Canadian competitors in Fortissimus, have confirmed that they will enter the Rolling Thunder World Championships,” Paul Ohl told IronMind® today.

With Canada represented, the field for the 2009 IronMind® Rolling Thunder® World Championships already comprises five nations.


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

IronMind® has just received word from someone close to the negotiations that IMG is “working with a new licensing partner . . . to help promote and raise the profile of WSM [World’s Strongest Man].”

Thirty Years of Pain - the new World’s Strongest Man DVD will be available on June 15 and buying the DVD might win you a trip to the finals of the 2009 World’s Strongest Man contest in Charleston, West Virginia.  IronMind® | Artwork courtesy of IMG.
Thirty Years of Pain - the new World’s Strongest Man DVD will be available on June 15 and buying the DVD might win you a trip to the finals of the 2009 World’s Strongest Man contest in Charleston, West Virginia.  IronMind® | Artwork courtesy of IMG.


Explaining further, “To start with, they have released the Thirty Years of Pain on DVD – which is great news and the first of many we hope.” 

IronMind® also received the synopsis and statement below, which describes this DVD and notes that if you buy this DVD, you have “the chance to enter an exclusive competition to travel to the finals of the 2009 World’s Strongest Man competition in Charleston, West Virginia.”  Charleston, West Virginia is home to 2006 World’s Strongest Man winner Phil Pfister and won widespread acclaim as the host of the 2008 World’s Strongest Man contest.

 "Released on DVD on 15 June 2009, Thirty Years Of Pain is a fascinating documentary which follows The World’s Strongest Man competition from its very first event at Universal Studios California right up to the 2008 finals in Charleston, West Virginia.  Bringing the action to life are interviews with some of the competition’s biggest names, including Bill Kazmaier, Geoff Capes, and Magnus ver Magnusson, as well as the event’s founder, Barry Frank.
 
"In addition to the main programme, the DVD offers an exclusive special bonus feature, ‘The Making Of The World’s Strongest Man’, which takes fans behind the scenes of the 2006 WSM Finals as contenders prepare for this gruelling contest.  Pre- and post-event interviews with athletes are also featured, including Mariusz Pudzianowski, Magnus Samuelsson and Britain’s Terry Hollands.
 
"Purchasers of the Thirty Years Of Pain DVD will also have the chance to enter an exclusive competition to travel to the finals of the 2009 World’s Strongest Man competition in Charleston, West Virginia.”


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

Fortissimus 2009 . . . Strongest Man on Earth . . . Draws Near

“I am not sure if it is appropriate to say that ‘I am proud to report on behalf of a courageous bunch,’ but I will nevertheless say it!” Fortissimus 2009 president Paul Ohl told IronMind® today.

Fortissimus 2009, the contest that is setting new standards in the strongman world, is rapidly approaching.  IronMind® | Poster courtesy of FORTISSIMUS WORLD STRENGTH/artwork by Julie Payeur.
Fortissimus 2009, the contest that is setting new standards in the strongman world, is rapidly approaching.  IronMind® | Poster courtesy of FORTISSIMUS WORLD STRENGTH/artwork by Julie Payeur.


“We are damn proud given the harsh economic situation to bring the ship safely to harbor," Paul Ohl continued.  "It wasn't without bumps and bruises, and with some more to come, but at least we will deliver.”

And what M. Ohl and company are delivering is Fortissimus 2009, a strongman contest quite unlike any other.

The following press release, a special to IronMind®, describes what all the excitement is about.
 

FORTISSIMUS REPORTS READY

Paul Ohl, president of FORTISSIMUS 2009 reports that athletes, equipment, officials and staff are ready for the launching of 2009 FORTISSIMUS Strongest Man on Earth, to be held in Montmagny, Québec, Canada, on June 27-28, 2009.

“For us, this will be the total package, Ohl reports.  With the legacy of Louis Cyr in the background, we will also honor such legends as Bill Kazmaier, Jon Pall Sigmarsson, Donald Dinnie, the Baillargeon Brothers, by having events named after them.  And, as a bonus, we will hold the IronMind®’s Rolling Thunder® World Championships, with Mark Felix defending his title.
 
“The field is huge and, most important, all-inclusive.  FORTISSIMUS 2009 has enjoyed tremendous cooperation from the Strongman Champions League, The Australian Federation of Strength Athletes, the Professional League of Power Extreme of Russia, the American Strongman Corporation and IronMind® Enterprises.  This was the key to getting such a competition on track and give it worldwide exposure.”

In a prepared statement, FORTISSIMUS 2009 reports 14 world-class competitors confirmed on its starting field, 10 events, an overall poundage of 16,447 lb. (7,476 kg), with two world record-breaking challenges (IronMind Overhead and Slater King of Stones) that will account for 43% of the total poundage.

“This could be the greatest field ever,” adds Paul Ohl.  A look at the track records of the contestants shows multiple Arnold Strongman, World Championships, WSM,  America, Europe, Russia, Britain and Australia wins at their credit, adding 25 world records established by these athletes (Savickas, Poundstone, Murumets, Ortmayer, Boyer) in 8 different events over the past 5 years.

“The events will equally test static strength, explosive power, grip and stamina and will be up by some 20% over last year’s competition.  That will be an all-time high.  With that put in perspective, the winner of FORTISSIMUS 2009 will become, by the tale of the tape, the Strongest Man on Earth.”

With two weeks left and the clock ticking, tickets can be purchased at the Fortissimus website.
 


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

Featuring two world record-holders in the event - Mark Felix and Andrus Murumets - along with such heavy hitters as 2006 World’s Strongest Man winner Phil Pfister and perennial top dog Odd Haugen confirming their entries, the 2009 IronMind® Rolling Thunder® World Championships are set to kick off Fortissimus in a big way.

Digital power of a virtually unbelievable kind:  No mere keyboard warrior, when Mark Felix wraps his fingers around something - be it a rope or a Rolling Thunder® - big things happen in the real world.  IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo.
Digital power of a virtually unbelievable kind:  No mere keyboard warrior, when Mark Felix wraps his fingers around something - be it a rope or a Rolling Thunder® - big things happen in the real world.  IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo.
 

Besides early confirmations from Andrus Murumets, Phil Pfister, and Odd Haugen, the huge news is that in a display of its extraordinary support for this event, the Fortissimus 2009 organizing committee has announced that they are bringing in the defending Rolling Thunder World Champion and current world record-holder, Mark Felix, to compete - elevating an already top-drawer field to the highest standard on Earth.
 
“The current world champion will defend his title at the 2009 IronMind® Rolling Thunder® World Championships to be held Friday, June 26, in Montmagny, Québec, Canada,” Fortissimus 2009 president Paul Ohl told IronMind® today.  "Further, we did put his name on the Fortissimus competitors' list as first alternate.
 
“A two-time finalist at World's Strongest Man, Mark Felix became in 2008 the first man ever to break the 300-lb. barrier in this huge grip contest,” said Ohl.  "The Rolling Thunder World Championships will be the prelude to 2009 Fortissimus Strongest Man on Earth." 
IronMind®’s Randall Strossen and Fortissimus’s Paul Ohl have followed up on the original announcement of this event by sending out personal invitations to the competitors in Fortissimus 2009 as well as to a hand-selected group of individuals deemed potentially qualified to compete in this event.

The invitation notes, “As befits something with such a rich history, four-time World’s Strongest Man winner Magnus Ver Magnusson will be refereeing the 2009 IronMind® Rolling Thunder® World Championships,” so this contest is laden with talent from stem to stern.


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

This weekend, the International Highland Games Federation (IHGF) European Championships will be held in Bressuire, France - an uncommonly beautiful setting for a sport that is anything but a stranger to scenic settings.

In what might be a perfect setting, five-time Highland Games World Champion Ryan Vierra throws the 56-pound weight for height in Bressuire, France.  IronMind® | Jean-Louis Coppet photo.
In what might be a perfect setting, five-time Highland Games World Champion Ryan Vierra throws the 56-pound weight for height in Bressuire, France.  IronMind® | Jean-Louis Coppet photo.
 

Francis Brebner has filed this special report with IronMind®, setting the stage for this weekend’s competition.
 

Bressuire Highland Games

By Francis Brebner

In what can only be called one of the best locations for a Highland Games, the Bressuire Games are set in the grounds of a walled 1,000-year-old old inhabited castle that is surrounded by a moat, with the nicest of scenery and views.

The stage is set for this year’s IHGF European Championships in Bressuire, France, which will prove to have the best lineup of European athletes ever assembled for the championships.  Representing countries will be Holland, Belgium, Scotland, England, Norway, Iceland, France and Switzerland.

The Bressuire Highland Games have come along way since the first Games were established in 2001 in an exhibition of the traditional heavy events to a crowd of 2,000 spectators.  This initial effort then led to a full-blown Highland Games being hosting in 2003 for the IHGF European Championships, which was a smash hit.

To date, Bressuire attracts a gate of over 8,000 spectators to its Games and is still growing in size.  Jean-Louis Coppet, the main organizer, is expecting as many as 10,000 spectators at this year’s event.   Big name stars like Stephen King, Gregor Edmunds, Scott Rider, and Tommy DeBruijn, will be battling it out over the two-day event, which will be held 13 - 14 June 2009.

David Webster, OBE has done a great job again in securing the best athletes to compete in this year’s European Championships and shows no sign of slowing down.  He is also preparing what can only be described as the biggest gathering in recent times with the 2009 Homecoming, including the IHGF World Championships in Edinburgh, Scotland, 25 - 26 July.  This vast event will prove to be spectacular, I am sure, and it will be opened by royalty and filmed for TV.


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

The next stop for the Strongman Champions League is Terborg, Holland on June 14, Marcel Mostert told IronMind®, featuring, “A very international field with athletes from all continents.”

Strongman Champions League is coming to Terborg, Holland this next weekend.  IronMind® | Artwork courtesy of Strongman Champions League (SCL).
Strongman Champions League is coming to Terborg, Holland this next weekend.  IronMind® | Artwork courtesy of Strongman Champions League (SCL).


Having such a broad cross-section of top strongman competitors “will quarantee a great event with performance and fun of a high standard,” Mostert said.

This year, sponsorship money has been scarce for strongman contests, resulting in fewer competitions and slimmer purses on the professional strongman circuit, but the Strongman Champions League has set itself apart with its full calendar and robust prize lists.  To date this year, the Strongman Champions League has already paid out 30,000 euros in prize money and this coming weekend, it is already holding its fourth contest of the year, quite a feather in the caps of Strongman Champions League founders Marcel Mostert and Ilkka Kinnunen.

“Of course we suffer because of the [financial] crisis as well, but with the [Strongman] Champions League we don’t want to cut on long flights from all continents, we do pay the standard prize money of 10,000 euros [per contest], and we do make the highest quality of filming in Holland with six cameras as we always did.  We are assured that this is the only way to make our Strongman Champions League better and stronger every year,” Mostert told IronMind®.
 
Here are the competitors:

Jarno Hams                      Holland                                                       
Misha Koklyaev               Russia                             
Levi Veoga                      New Zealand                                                   
Juan Carlos Heredia        Spain                    
Jimmy Laureys                Belgium                              
Matt Wanat                    USA                       
Jani Kohlemainen           Finland                                          
Agris Kazelniks              Latvia         
Etienne Smit                   South Africa                        
Tobias Ide                      Germany
Richard van der Linden  Holland 
Tom Jansen                    Holland
 
Here is the official list of events:
 
Truck pull
Fridge loading
Atlas stones
Weight for height
Medley (yoke race, wheel flip, objects)
Log lift for maximum
 
Start time is 1:30 p.m. (13:30 hours).
 


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

Special to the IronMind® News:

 

2009 Arlington, Texas Highland Games
By Francis Brebner
 

With a packed gate of 30,000 spectators at the 2009 Arlington, Texas Highland Games, Sean Betz cleaned up this weekend in an all-dominating performance. 

The jamboree of pro athletes began the competition with the 24-lb. Braemar stone, with Betz winning with a put of 43’ 2”.  Second was Greg Hadley at 40’ 11”, and third Dave Barron at 39’ 11”.

In the next event, the 56-lb. weight for distance, Hadley showed great form, snatching the win with a distance of 42’ 11”, with Betz in second at 41’ 9” and Andrew Hobson in third at 40’ 10”.

The next event, the 22-lb. hammer, was dominated by Betz, who with a thick-handled shaft threw the hammer a colossal distance of 118’ 2”; in second was Hadley with 110’ 8” and in third was Dave Barron with 103’ 2”.

In the 16-lb. hammer, things really heated up.  Betz threw a world-class distance of 149’ 9”, which came so close to the official world championships record of 150’ 9” held by Ryan Vierra.  Betz’s throw astounded most of the athletes and the massive crowd that was watching as Betz shattered the field record of 143’ he set at last year’s Games.  In second was Hadley with 135’ 5” and in third Hobson with 129’.

Going into the second day of competition, Betz kept up his front-running performances, winning the 17-lb. open stone with a distance of 52’ 3”.  Barron took second place with 47’ 9”, and Hadley placed third with a below-par put of 42’.

Moving on to the 28-lb. weight for distance, once again Betz was triumphant, with a winning distance of 83’ 4”.  Second was Barron at 77’ 11” and third Hadley at 76’ 4”.

The 56-lb. weight over the bar was done in the traditional style, with Betz winning at a height of 16’ 6”, and Hadley, Hobson and Barron tying at 15’ 6”.

In the final event of the competition, the 19’, 140-lb. challenge caber, Betz demonstrated some impressive technique, nailing two 12 o’clock tosses.  Second was Hadley at 11:50 and third was Barron at 11:30.

Asking Betz about his weekend and the way his throwing was going so far for the World Championships in Scotland in July, Betz said he was very pleased with his throwing this weekend and “everything is going as planned.  It’s not like last year with the Worlds - so early in the season where you were throwing right out of the gate.

“I am gradually improving each week and I hope to peak just right for the Worlds.  In training this last week I had a good practice with hammer, which felt real good, and with the 28-lb. weight, which I was throwing over 92’, so I am well pleased with way things are going right now.
 
“I would just like to add what a great job the athletic director Aaron Woods and his staff of officials did.  It was a real privilege to be invited back to compete at these Games once again.”
 
Kansas City will be the next Games for Betz this coming weekend, where he will battle it out with the best weight-for-distance throwers, assembled there for the National Weight for Distance Championships.  Some big names in the sport who will be competing are Larry Brock, Eric Frazer, Andrew Hobson, Kerry Overfelt, and Mike Zolkiewicz.


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

“In the ice hockey stadium of Bratislava, Andrus Murumets took the title Strongman Champions League - Slovakia,” Marcel Mostert told IronMind®.

Andrus Murumets motors in the Wheelbarrow, on his way to winning the Strongman Champions League - Slovakia competition.  IronMind® | Photo courtesy of Marcel Mostert.
Andrus Murumets motors in the Wheelbarrow, on his way to winning the Strongman Champions League - Slovakia competition.  IronMind® | Photo courtesy of Marcel Mostert.
 

Here is the full report:


Andrus Murumets Takes His Second Win
by Marcel Mostert
Strongman Champions League


With only one win (on a very heavy truck pull), but with good scores in the other five disciplines, Andrus saved his title.  Terry Hollands was second, ahead of the new Russian athlete, Alexander Klyushev.  Jimmy Laureys, from Belgium, impressed everyone by winning the Atlas stones (up to 190 kg) and winning the farmer’s walk.  He just lost too many points on the Wheelbarrow and Truck Pull, but still finished 6th place overall.

Martin Wildauer, who did so well the first two Strongman Champions League stages, disappointed himself because he made too many mistakes.  But also for him, it’s a learning process: he is just 21 years so I have no worries about him for the future.

It was a nice contest, for the first time in Slovakia with such a great international field.  The organizer, the sponsors and the city were very pleased with the Strongman Champions League and directly signed for an even bigger event next year!  We are also very happy that the athletes liked the show and atmosphere as well.
 
Top 10 finalists:
 
1-ANDRUS MURUMETS            Estonia      69.5 points
2-TERRY HOLLANDS                England     62
3-ALEXANDER KLYUSHEV       Russia       56
4-AGRIS KAZELNIKS                 Latvia        49
5-ZDENEK SEDMIK                   Czech        48.5
6-JIMMY LAUREYS                    Belgium     41.5
7-KONSTANTIN ILYIN                Ukraine     39.5
8-MARTIN WILDAUER               Austria       39.5
9-BRANISLAV GOLIER              Slovakia     38.5
10-OLEKSANDR LASHYN         Ukraine      38

Coming next weekend, on 14 June, the next stage of the Strongman Champions League will happen in Holland, where a very international field will compete here again, with top hotshots and athletes from all continents!


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

Saying “the so-called traditionalists” are missing the target when they criticize the Highlander Games, Dr. Douglas Edmunds - the godfather of modern strongman - is quick to point to the ancient roots of warrior games, his model for the Highlander concept which melds strongman and the Highland Games, with a combat-oriented theme.The Pole Push, shown here with Sebastian Wenta (left) and Johannes Arsjo (right), typifies the sort of challenge Douglas Edmunds has built into his Highlander concept.  IronMind® | Photo courtesy of Famous Grouse Whisky.
The Pole Push, shown here with Sebastian Wenta (left) and Johannes Arsjo (right), typifies the sort of challenge Douglas Edmunds has built into his Highlander concept.  IronMind® | Photo courtesy of Famous Grouse Whisky.


“People in olden times didn’t have a lot of fun . . . they were just survivors,” as they focused on warrior-like tests and challenges when they were not engaged in actual combat, Edmunds told IronMind® today.  “This isn’t some silly thing farmers do,” said Edmunds, referring to the classic Highland Games events such as throwing the heavy and light hammer.  “This has depth to it.”  Think battle axes, mercenaries, jousting and the like to get in the proper frame of mind.

This year’s Highlander World Championships with be held at Glenarm Castle in Northern Ireland, July 14 - 15, and the field includes such big names as Sebastian Wenta, Scott Rider, Gregor Edmunds, Mikhail Koklyaev, Kyrylo Chuprynin, Wout Zijlstra, Stefan Solvi Petursson and one or two top Americans, most likely sponsored by MET-Rx, Edmunds told IronMind®.

"MET-Rx have agreed to help sponsor this event, which we think will put a spotlight on the right American competitor," said Edmunds.


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

Oz Strongman’s Chris Andrews told IronMind®, “We are having our next big comp on June 28th which will be 'Sydney’s Strongest Man.'”

Sydney’s Strongest Man contest will be held on June 28.  IronMind® | Artwork courtesy of Chris Andrews.

Sydney’s Strongest Man contest will be held on June 28.  IronMind® | Artwork courtesy of Chris Andrews.


“We have around 38 athletes competing in light [under 90 kg], middle [under 105 kg]  and heavy  [+105 kg] weights in the amateur class, plus an all-star lineup in the pros [where]  we are very lucky to have Rauno Heinla, 'Estonia’s Strongest Man,' competing along side our top athletes:  Alan ‘The Monster’ Kliese and our two top athletes from New Zealand, Jono MacFarlane and Nick Hansen.  This will be one serious battle,” said Andrews.
 
The events for the pro class are:

Apollon’s Wheel-Axle Deadlift - 300 kg
Atlas Stone for reps – 170 kg
Farmer’s Walk – 160 kg
Log Lift for reps - 125 kg
Super Yoke – 355 kg
 
The prize list consists of the OZ Strongman Trophy, Andrews told IronMind®.


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

Travis Ortmayer emerged at the top of the class at the Giants Live- Viking Power Challenge strongman contest.

Richard Skog was second and Misha Koklyaev was third.  Also on the card, “Arild Haugen put on a boxing display - sparring three rounds with a notable MMA fighter, though he looked no smaller than before!” IronMind® was told.


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

Larry Brock battled it out with Kerry Overfelt at the Glasgow, Kentucky Highland Games last weekend, and Francis Brebner called the action for IronMind®.

Kerry Overfelt (left) and Larry Brock (right).  IronMind® | Photo courtesy of Francis Brebner.
Kerry Overfelt (left) and Larry Brock (right).  IronMind® | Photo courtesy of Francis Brebner.


2009 Glasgow Highland Games
by Francis Brebner
 
This past weekend’s Glasgow, Kentucky Highland Games saw over 15,000 spectators each day entertained with some of the finest throwing so far this season with a real ding-dong battle between Larry Brock and Kerry Overfelt.

Both days had perfect conditions for throwing far—and throw far they did.  In the opening event with 17-lb. open stone, Craig Smith took the win with a putt of 50’ 2”; in second was Brock with 48’ 7” and in third Overfelt with 48’ 5”.

The 28-lb. weight for distance was won by Overfelt with a throw of 84’.  In the 56-lb. weight for distance, Overfelt showed some real world-class distance, throwing over 45’ 5” for the win, which left Brock in second with 43’ 2” and Smith in third with 37’ 1-1/2”.

The 22-lb. hammer proved a real seesaw battle between Brock and Overfelt, with Overfelt coming out on top once again with a winning distance of 111’ 1-1/2”; Brock took second with 110’ 4” and Chris St. Clair took third with 102’ 7-1/2”.

Going into the last event of the first day’s competition, the caber toss, with an implement 20’ long and 130-lb., it was Overfelt who sealed the final win with a 2:30 and a 10:00 o’clock toss; in second was St. Clair with a 10:00 o’clock toss and in third was Brock with a 2:30 toss.
 
In the second day of competition, in the weight over the bar Overfelt kept up his winning streak by taking the event with a height of 18’ 6”.  Brock had to settle for second place with 18’, and once again St. Clair was in third place at 16’.

The 20-lb. sheaf toss was again won by Overfelt in yet another dominating performance, at a winning height of 31’.  Brock took second at 29’ and St. Clair third at 27’.

Going into the 16-lb. hammer, it was much the same, with a real clash between Brock and Overfelt, but this time the win went to the Brockstar, at a distance of 139’ 10-1/2”.  Overfelt was just inches behind at 139’ 4”, and in third place was Mark Valenti at 128’ 7”.

The final event was the 22-lb. Braemar standing stone putt.  After a hard-fought competition it was won by Mark Valenti with a putt of 39’ 11-1/2”; in second was Overfelt with 39’ 10” and in third Brock with 38’ 1”.

Overall points:

1.  Kerry Overfelt  13
2.  Larry Brock      19
3.  Chris St. Clair  30
4.  David Lyttle      50
5.  Craig Smith      6 (retired after 4 events with injury)

A special note must be added about Kerry Overfelt, the worthy winner of the Glasgow, Kentucky Highland Games, who showed some world-class performances all round.  Look out for Overfelt as a future contender in the World Championships.

Also it must be added that Larry Brock has been suffering from a hip injury this season, and from what I witnessed at Costa Mesa and after hearing the distances recorded by Brock this past weekend, he looks to be well on his way to a full recovery.  Brock did mention that he was happy with his throwing and the way his plans are going for the World Championships in Edinburgh, Scotland in late July.   We’re looking forward to seeing the Brockstar there in action.


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

This Saturday, June 6, the third stage of the 2009 Strongman Champions League series will be held in Bratislava, Slovakia, with a lineup that includes Andrus Murumets, Terry Hollands and Martin Wildauer.

This coming Saturday, Strongman Champions League is bringing a top strongman contest to Bratislava, Slovakia.  IronMind® | Artwork courtesy of Strongman Champions League.
This coming Saturday, Strongman Champions League is bringing a top strongman contest to Bratislava, Slovakia.  IronMind® | Artwork courtesy of Strongman Champions League.


Featuring a field that includes a mix of established top professional strongman competitors along with emerging talent and local prospects, the contest will also maintain the series’s focus on the most visible and established strongman events.

Here is the official start list:
 
1.  Andrus Murumets     Estonia
2.  Martin Wildauer        Austria
3.  Terry Hollands          England
4.  Simon Sulaiman        Syria
5.  Agris Kazelniks         Latvia
6.  Oleksandr Lashyn     Ukraine
7.  Alexander Klyushev  Russia     
8.  Szabo Zsolt               Hungary      
9.  Zdenek Sedmik         Czech                     
10. Jimmy Laureys         Belgium        
11. Braňo Golier             Slovakia      
12. Pavol Jambor           Slovakia                    
13. František Piroš         Slovakia                                           
14. Alexander Ilyin         Ukraine                     
 
The events are:


1. Car pull
2. Atlas stones: 130, 150, 170, 190 kg
3. Farmer's walk: 150 kg
4. Superyoke: 400 kg
5. Log lift: 140 kg for reps
6. Tire flip: 400kg.
 
Start time is 15:00 (3:00 p.m.).


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

On June 20, as part of the Bronx Week Food and Arts Festival, some of the strongest arms around will be at the table, for the 26th Annual White Castle Armwrestling Championships. 

IronMind® | Artwork courtesy of Gene Camp/New York Arm Wrestling Association.

IronMind® | Artwork courtesy of Gene Camp/New York Arm Wrestling Association.


Gene Camp, founder and president of the New York Arm Wrestling Association, said, "The White Castle Bronxboro Arm Wrestling Championships reflects a home-grown, captive, cheering audience and free fun-filled day for everyone."  Camp continued, "We are excited about the opportunity to participate in the Bronx Week festivities and the 100th anniversary of the Grand Concourse.  This gives us an opportunity to crown the Bronx Strongest Arm at a prestigious and unique festival atmosphere and a wonderful opportunity to showcase the first event of the 2009 White Castle multi-event New York Golden Arm Series.”

“The ‘Bronx Strongest Arm’ male and female MVPs will be crowned and 1st, 2nd and 3rd place award winners will qualify for the Empire State Golden Arm Tournament of Champions to be held at The Port Authority Bus Terminal on November 12.”  Sponsored by White Castle, “the NY 'Golden Arm' Series consists of eight preliminary championships, one event in each of the five NYC Boroughs, two on Long Island and the NY State Final.

“Contestants must be at least 16 years old and if under 18; have a parent or guardian signed approval. There are no residency requirements.”

For full details, please visit the NYAWA website.
 


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

Reporting on the Ukraine’s Strongest Man contest, Marcel Mostert said, “The competition was very heavy, done over 7 events with killing medleys and dumbbell pressing with a 92-kg dumbbell.”

This contest was organized by Vladimir and Olena Kiba, with Michael Starov and Marcel Mostert refereeing.  Mostert, co-founder of Strongman Champions League, said that the weather was excellent and the contest also had “ a great, enthusiastic crowd as always in the Ukraine.

“A brand new champion came up in the 2009 edition of Ukraine’s Strongest Man, and his name is Ilyin Konstyantyn.  He beat the current champion, Oleksandr Lashyn, just by more wins [on count back] because at the end they both had 63 points.  The third place went to Sergei Konyushok, the former 105-kg athlete, who was 3rd in 2007 during the 105-kg World Championships in China.  Now he weighs 115 kg and impressed everyone by winning the arm-over-arm truck pull!

“Mark Felix from the UK was the only international strongman who competed here as well.  This was to measure how the Ukraine level would be against international athletes.  Mark Felix came in 7th place, so the Ukrainians were more convinced about the strength of their new champion now.  Vasyl Virastyuk was also present, but just for fans and media.  He told me that he still suffers with his old back injury, and the chances that he will return to professional strongman are very small.
 
“Konstyantyn, the new winner of the Ukraine’s Strongest Man contest, will compete also next weekend in his first Strongman Champions League contest, the Slovakia SCL in Bratislava.  Also, Olexander Lashyn will compete there, so maybe he can avenge himself.  We are exited about their battle!”
 
Top five, final:
 
Ilyin Konstyantyn    63 points  (4 wins)
Oleksandr Lashyn  63 points (1 win)
Sergei Konyushok  57.5
Victor Yurchenko    47
Kyrylo Chuprynin    45
 


 


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