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World's Strongest Man

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Title: World's Strongest Man  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Jón Páll Sigmarsson, Strongman Super Series, Strength athletics in Iceland, Magnús Ver Magnússon, Kevin Nee
Collection: Cbs Sports Spectacular, Strongmen Competitions, World's Strongest Man Competitions
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World's Strongest Man

World's Strongest Man
The official logo of World's Strongest Man
Tournament information
Location varies; 2015 competition was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Established 1977
Format Multi-event competition
Current champion
Brian Shaw[1]

The World's Strongest Man is a TWI, an IMG Media company, it is broadcast around the end of December each year.[2] Competitors qualify based on placing in the top three at the four to eight Giants Live events each year.[3]

The current event sponsor is the Commerce Casino in Los Angeles, California;[4] other past sponsors include Tonka, Met-rx, and The event has a number of rival and parallel competitions with which it is sometimes confused, including the Strongman Super Series, the now defunct IFSA Strongman World Championships (run from 2005-2007 after the International Federation of Strength Athletes parted company with WSM in 2004) and Strongman Champions League.


  • History 1
    • 1970s–1980s 1.1
    • 1990s–2000s 1.2
  • Competition format and commonly contested events 2
  • Most championships 3
  • Official results – top three places 4
  • Most top three places 5
  • Championships by country 6
  • Hall of Fame 7
    • Hall of Fame Members 7.1
  • See also 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10



The concept behind "The World's Strongest Men", as it was originally named, was developed in 1977 for David Webster, a Scot who later received an OBE for his services to sport, was the head coordinator of the competition from its inception. Dr Douglas Edmunds, seven-times Scottish shot and discus champion and twice world caber champion[5] worked with Webster and when Webster retired Edmunds took over. These two men were responsible for inviting the competitors and choosing the events. In the meantime, in 1982, CBS sold the rights to the BBC, who in turn sold the rights to TWI. In 1987, the WSM was not held for the only time since its inception. In that year the first and only non-team Pure Strength competition was held but it was not part of the WSM franchise.


In 1995, Edmunds and Webster, along with representatives from the competitors including

  • Official website

External links

  1. ^
  2. ^ "The Worlds Strongest Man Official Website". 2012-04-25. Retrieved 2012-07-24. 
  3. ^
  4. ^Žydrūnas_Savickas_Win_Worldxs_Strongest_Man.html
  5. ^ DOUG GILLON, Athletics Correspondent, 19 May 2007 Bring on the war games The Herald Scotland
  6. ^ a b c d e , by Randall J. Strossen, IronMind, Thursday, February 10, 2005IFSA, WCE, TWI, WSM, ESPN: Who's On First and How Do I Get To World's Strongest Man?
  7. ^ Magnus Samelsson Official website
  8. ^ "McGlashen Stones / Atlas Stones Event". 
  9. ^ "Truck Pull Event". 
  10. ^ "Overhead Press Event". 
  11. ^ "Fingal's Fingers Event". 
  12. ^ "Squat Lift Event". 
  13. ^ "Dead Lift Event". 
  14. ^ "Dead Lift (Reps) Event". 
  15. ^ "Pillars of Hercules Event". 
  16. ^ "Carry and Drag Event". 
  17. ^ "Farmer's Walk Event". 
  18. ^
  19. ^ "Husafell Stone / Africa Stone Event". 
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^ a b c "Hall of Fame". The Worlds Strongest Man. Retrieved 2012-07-24. 


See also

Hall of Fame Members

The WSM Hall of Fame was created in 2008, to recognize the greatest competitors in the history of the contest.[22] As of 2015, there are 4 members of the WSM Hall of Fame, Mariusz Pudzianowski, Svend Karlsen, Jón Páll Sigmarsson and Bill Kazmaier.[22] The official WSM website holds online voting to determine who is elected to the Hall of Fame as voted by the fans.[22]

Hall of Fame

Australia, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Fiji, France, Germany, Grenada, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, Serbia and Samoa have all placed in Top 10 but never won a medal.

Country Gold Silver Bronze Total
 United States 10 7 8 25
 Iceland 8 5 4 17
 Poland 5 3 0 8
 Lithuania 4 7 0 11
 United Kingdom 4 2 7 13
 Finland 3 3 5 11
 Sweden 1 3 4 8
 Netherlands 1 2 4 7
 Norway 1 1 1 3
 Ukraine 1 0 1 2
 Denmark 0 2 0 2
 Canada 0 1 1 2
 South Africa 0 1 1 2
 Austria 0 1 0 1
 Latvia 0 0 1 1
 Russia 0 0 1 1

Championships by country

Most times WSM top 5 placings:, Žydrūnas Savickas, - 10 times

Most consecutive WSM finals: Terry Hollands - 9 times (2006-2014)

Most WSM finals: Magnus Samuelsson - Žydrūnas Savickas, - 10 times

Most times qualified for WSM: Magnus Samuelsson - 13 times

10 Žydrūnas Savickas
7 Jón Páll Sigmarsson
Mariusz Pudzianowski
6 Geoff Capes
Magnús Ver Magnússon
Brian Shaw
5 Bill Kazmaier
Magnus Samuelsson

Most top three places

  1. In 1987 the WSM was not held for the only time since its inception. In that year the first and only non-team Pure Strength competition was held. Although it was not part of the WSM franchise, some commentators regard it as a replacement for WSM in that year.
Year Champion Runner-Up 3rd Place Location
2015 Brian Shaw Žydrūnas Savickas Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson Putrajaya, Malaysia
2014 Žydrūnas Savickas Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson Brian Shaw Los Angeles, California
2013 Brian Shaw Žydrūnas Savickas Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson Sanya, China
2012[20] Žydrūnas Savickas Vytautas Lalas Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson Los Angeles, California
2011 Brian Shaw Žydrūnas Savickas Terry Hollands Wingate, North Carolina
2010 Žydrūnas Savickas[21] Brian Shaw Mikhail Koklyaev Sun City, South Africa
2009 Žydrūnas Savickas Mariusz Pudzianowski Brian Shaw Valletta, Malta
2008 Mariusz Pudzianowski Derek Poundstone Dave Ostlund Charleston, West Virginia
2007 Mariusz Pudzianowski Sebastian Wenta Terry Hollands Anaheim, California
2006 Phil Pfister Mariusz Pudzianowski Don Pope Sanya, China
2005 Mariusz Pudzianowski Jesse Marunde Dominic Filiou Chengdu, China
2004 Vasyl Virastyuk Žydrūnas Savickas Magnus Samuelsson Nassau, Bahamas
2003 Mariusz Pudzianowski Žydrūnas Savickas Vasyl Virastyuk Victoria Falls, Zambia
2002 Mariusz Pudzianowski Žydrūnas Savickas Raimonds Bergmanis Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
2001 Svend Karlsen Magnus Samuelsson Janne Virtanen Victoria Falls, Zambia
2000 Janne Virtanen Svend Karlsen Magnus Samuelsson Sun City, South Africa
1999 Jouko Ahola Janne Virtanen Svend Karlsen Valletta, Malta
1998 Magnus Samuelsson Jouko Ahola Wout Zijlstra Tangier, Morocco
1997 Jouko Ahola Flemming Rasmussen Magnus Samuelsson Primm Valley Resort, Nevada
1996 Magnús Ver Magnússon Riku Kiri Gerrit Badenhorst Port Louis, Mauritius
1995 Magnús Ver Magnússon Gerrit Badenhorst Marko Varalahti Nassau, Bahamas
1994 Magnús Ver Magnússon Manfred Hoeberl Riku Kiri Sun City, South Africa
1993 Gary Taylor Magnús Ver Magnússon Riku Kiri Orange, France
1992 Ted van der Parre Magnús Ver Magnússon Jamie Reeves Reykjavík, Iceland
1991 Magnús Ver Magnússon Henning Thorsen Gary Taylor Tenerife, Canary Islands
1990 Jón Páll Sigmarsson O.D. Wilson Ilkka Nummisto Joensuu, Finland
1989 Jamie Reeves Ab Wolders Jón Páll Sigmarsson San Sebastián, Spain
1988 Jón Páll Sigmarsson Bill Kazmaier Jamie Reeves Budapest, Hungary
1986 Jón Páll Sigmarsson Geoff Capes Ab Wolders Nice, France
1985 Geoff Capes Jón Páll Sigmarsson Cees de Vreugd Cascais, Portugal
1984 Jón Páll Sigmarsson Ab Wolders Geoff Capes Mora, Sweden
1983 Geoff Capes Jón Páll Sigmarsson Simon Wulfse Christchurch, New Zealand
1982 Bill Kazmaier Tom Magee John Gamble Magic Mountain, California
1981 Bill Kazmaier Geoff Capes Dave Waddington Magic Mountain, California
1980 Bill Kazmaier Lars Hedlund Geoff Capes Vernon, New Jersey
1979 Don Reinhoudt Lars Hedlund Bill Kazmaier Universal Studios, California
1978 Bruce Wilhelm Don Reinhoudt Lars Hedlund Universal Studios, California
1977 Bruce Wilhelm Bob Young Ken Patera Universal Studios, California

Official results – top three places

Champion Country Times Years
Mariusz Pudzianowski  Poland 5 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2008
Žydrūnas Savickas  Lithuania 4 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014
Magnús Ver Magnússon  Iceland 4 1991, 1994, 1995, 1996
Jón Páll Sigmarsson  Iceland 4 1984, 1986, 1988, 1990
Bill Kazmaier  United States 3 1980, 1981, 1982
Brian Shaw  United States 3 2011, 2013, 2015
Jouko Ahola  Finland 2 1997, 1999
Geoff Capes  United Kingdom 2 1983, 1985
Bruce Wilhelm  United States 2 1977, 1978

Most championships

  • Loading Race – Several heavy objects, each weighing between 220–360 pounds (100–163 kg), are loaded onto a truck bed or a similar platform over a course of about 50 feet (15 m).
  • McGlashen Stones / Atlas Stones – Five heavy round stones increasing in weight from 220–352 pounds (100–160 kg) are placed on top of five high platforms that make up a 16–33-foot (5–10 m) long course. There are three variations to the Atlas Stones event. In one, the stones are placed directly in front of the platforms and the competitors must simply lift and place them, generally the lightest stone being placed on the highest platform. In another, the stones are placed in a diagonal line, with the first stone being in front of the first platform, and each subsequent stone is set farther back from the course, with the heaviest stone being farthest away (or vice versa). The third variation sees the five platforms in a straight vertical line with the stones in front of each, and the competitors must place the stones and then move a short distance to the next one. In recent competitions, this is typically the final event.[8]
  • Vehicle Pull – Vehicles such as transport trucks, trams, boxcars, buses, or planes are pulled across a 100-foot (30 m) course as fast as possible. One variation sees the competitors pull the object with a rope toward them. Another has them attached to a rope which is attached to a vehicle, while they use another rope to pull themselves down the course. A third involves no ropes, with the competitors pulling the vehicle while connected to a harness.[9] The 2007 competition featured pulling a fire truck (possibly a nod to 2006 champion Phil Pfister, a professional firefighter), and the 2008 qualifying rounds featured a coal truck (a reference to the coal mining industry in West Virginia, where the competition was held).
  • Overhead Press – The heaviest possible load is pressed overhead, or a lighter weight is used for repetitions.[10]
  • Fingal Fingers – A series of hinged poles ("fingers") are lifted starting from a horizontal resting position and flipped over to the other side. The poles get progressively heavier and longer. The event is scored by time and by how many of the poles a competitor was able to flip over. The event takes its name from Fingal, a mythological Gaelic hunter-warrior.[11]
  • Power Stairs – A series of three Duck Walk implements ranging from 400–600 pounds (181–272 kg) are lifted, step by step, to the top of a flight of stairs.
  • Squat – Squatting large weights, such as 900 pounds (410 kg) of bricks, a car, or people on a platform. Recently, an apparatus has been used that drops weighted kegs into a cage, one at a time after each successful lift (the event in this case is scored by weight instead of repetitions). The athlete will continue until completion, failure or time expires.[12]
  • Dead Lift – Lifting weights or vehicles up to about 1,100 pounds (500 kg) straight off the ground until knees lock in a standing position. Lift is for either maximum weight, maximum repetitions with a fixed weight, or for time whilst holding a single repetition. In recent years, a similar keg-loaded apparatus to that described above for the squat has been used.[13][14]
  • Keg Toss – Competitors must throw kegs, of increasing weight, over a 14 ft 6 in (4.42 m) high bar. A variation using kettlebells was added to the 2015 competition.
  • Car Carry – Competitors stand inside a stripped-down automobile, which is missing some of its roof and all of its bottom and interior, and carry it across a twenty-five meter course. Players are scored by how fast they carried the car across the finish line or how far they were able to get the car before the time-limit expired.
  • Hercules Hold – The athlete stands between two hinged pillars, gripping handles that prevent the pillars from falling to the side. The pillars are held for the longest possible time.[15]
  • Carry and Drag – An anchor and a chain are carried to the end of a set distance, where they must be attached to each other and then dragged back the same distance.[16] Sometimes, especially in earlier competitions, the anchor was carried but the chain dragged by itself.
  • Farmer's Walk – Competitors carry heavy objects (usually anvils) weighing from 275-375 lbs (125– 170 kg) in each hand for a set distance, and compete for the fastest time. A variation involves use of a heavy frame with parallel handles or heavy objects attached to handles, and another involves much heavier weights (referred to as the Giant Farmer's Walk).[17] This event is usually done on the same course as the Carry and Drag is and conducted as a race, but one competition in Sanya, China saw the competitors compete individually carrying the weights up a small set of stairs. A competition in Victoria Falls, Zambia saw the competitors race two at a time along a course requiring several turns.
  • Super Yoke – Apparatus composed of a crossbar and two uprights. The uprights each have a heavy weight attached to them, such as a refrigerator or diesel engine, and the competitors must carry the yoke on their shoulders for a short distance.[18]
  • Husafell Stone – A flat, somewhat triangular rock weighing around 400 lb (182 kg) is carried high on the chest for a set distance. During the three years in which the competition took place in Africa, this event was known as the Africa Stone.[19]
  • Duck Walk – A 400 lb (182 kg) pot with a handle is carried, suspended between the legs, over a set course.
  • Log Throw / Caber Toss – A five meter long log is thrown for distance or for height over a bar. When thrown for distance, the event is conducted similarly to the normal caber toss but with distance replacing technique. The length of the throw is determined by measuring the distance between where the competitor's toes were when he tossed and the tip of the log, based on where it first landed.
  • Tug of War – One on one tug of war in a single-elimination tournament. In the first few competitions, this determined the champion and served as the final event.
  • Pole Pushing – One on one pole pushing in a Sumo-style ring in a single-elimination tournament. The pole has handles at either end.
  • Crucifix – Weights are held straight out at each side for as long a time as possible. A common variation entails weights being held out in front, using either one or both hands.
  • Giant Dumbbell Press — Single-handed dumbbells are hoisted from the ground onto the competitor's shoulder, from where, with one hand, he must raise it vertically over his head and lockout his arm. With four weights between 100 and 115 kilograms (220 and 254 lb), scoring is based on time and number of successful lifts.
  • Basque Circle/Stone Circle/Conan's Wheel - A competitor takes hold of the handle of a metal basket by placing the handle on his forearms. Inside the basket, usually, is at least 600 pounds (270 kg) of heavy stones (the 2015 competition replaced the stones with pineapples). Holding the basket in the crook of his elbow, the competitor carries the basket in a clockwise manner over a platform with a 25-meter circumference. The event is contested for distance.
  • Norse Hammers - added to the competition for the first time in 2015, the Norse Hammers is similar to the Fingal Fingers event. Three hammers, shaped like those of Norse god Thor, must be flipped over. Unlike the Fingal Fingers, the competitors must lift the hammer from the side before pushing it up. There are three hammers, weighing 350, 365, and 380 pounds, respectively. In order to complete the event all three must be flipped within the time limit.
  • Circus Barbell - similar to the Overhead Press, this event gets its name from the apparatus used which resembles the stereotypical barbell used by circus strongmen. The barbell, which weighs 150 kilograms (330 lb), consists of two heavy spheres with a thin, flexible bar that makes it difficult for the competitors to lift. The event is conducted for reps within a time limit and the movement to complete the lift resembles a clean and press lift.

Initially, eight men representing various sports and strength disciplines were invited to compete against each other in unique events designed to test each individual to the fullest extent. The earliest events were relatively crude, but new ideas were introduced over the years. Some events had a basis in both powerlifting and Highland Games heavy events, and others were created based on mythological feats of strength. There are a number of events that make up each competition. The events used in each individual contest vary in order to prevent favoring certain types of competitor.

Competition format and commonly contested events

Going into the 2012 WSM contest, Brian Shaw suffered from nerve damage in his hands and slipped down to fourth place. This opened the door for Žydrūnas to capture his third WSM title, with fellow Lithuanian Vytautas Lalas coming in second and the Iceland giant Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson placed third. Žydrūnas set a world record in the log lift with a lift of 220 kg (484 lbs.).

in 2011, Brian Shaw was able to finally capture his first WSM title, just edging out Žydrūnas. Both athletes were tied going into the Atlas Stones and Brian was able to capitalize on his massive height advantage and claim the title. England's Terry Hollands finished in third place, his second podium finish after finishing third back in 2007.

Žydrūnas repeated his victory again in 2010, winning by countback against Brian Shaw in the closest finish in WSM history. Top IFSA competitor and fan favorite Mikhail Koklyaev finished third in his WSM debut. Žydrūnas set a world record in the giant wooden log lift with a lift of 212.5 kg (467.5 lbs.).

In 2009, the long running IFSA/WSM split had ended resulting in finally having all of the top strongmen from around the world all in the same contest. 2 time IFSA World Champion Žydrūnas Savickas claimed his first WSM title, with defending champion Mariusz coming in second in his final ever WSM contest. Another up and comer Brian Shaw placed third.

In 2008, local debutant Derek Poundstone had a large lead over Mariusz Pudzianowski after 3 events but Pudzianowski tied the deadlift event for first place and then won the crucial plane-pull to narrow the gap. Pudzianowski and Poundstone then battled for the title of World's Strongest Man in the last event, the Atlas Stones. Pudzianowski blistered through the event and was able to keep pace with the heavier Poundstone. On the final stone, Pudzianowski was able to capitalize on Poundstone's drop and clinched his fifth title.

The 2006 competition ended in dramatic fashion, with Phil Pfister edging out Mariusz Pudzianowski in the final event, the Atlas stones. Pfister became the first American to win the event since 1982, and the first American ever to win the event outside the USA.

The split with IFSA, which banned its registered athletes from competing at WSM, meant that not all the recognised best strength athletes in the world were eligible to compete. However, the reputation of WSM as the premier event maintained its lure for broadcasting purposes. In recent years, the competition has been broadcast on ESPN, ESPN2, TSN, Televisa Deportes and Five. The longevity of the contest in strength athletics and its high levels of TV exposure over the years has led to it being described as "the granddaddy of all strongman contests".[6] In recent years, to curb injuries, the contest events have included a certain amount of athleticism rather than being about raw strength. This has led some critics to say that contests such as the Arnold Strongman Classic or Fortissimus are the true strongest man competitions. However, it is routinely described as "the Worlds" by top strongman competitors[6] and despite the critics, it is the leading brand name in the field. No other strongman contest commands close to the WSM's levels of TV exposure.[6]

With the WSM being a TWI owned event, IFSA Holdings announced its own World Championships for 2005, to be held in Quebec, and thus from that point had no involvement in the WSM contest. [6] The attempt at dominance was not well received by TWI and disagreement ensued leading to a split in the sport. Previously, in 2001, the IFSA in its former guise had entered an agreement with World Class Events (WCE), headed by Ulf Bengtsson, to run the Super Series. This Super Series was designed to award the World Championship title, but also acted as a qualifying vehicle for the WSM. When strongman split in 2004, the Super Series sided with TWI forming a rival federation to the IFSA.[7] describing it as "a new company...with the same name as our old federation".Magnus Samuelsson with some, such as [6]

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