An Interview with Mr. Nick Busick, organizer of the Mountaineer Cup
Held on July 30th, 1998
ASL: First I would like to wish you luck with your competition that you are organizing. Thank you for allowing me the time to conduct this interview with you.
ASL: Would you care to introduce yourself to the powerlifting and strength athlete community?
Busick: My name is Nick Busick. I'm organizing the Mountaineer Cup. By the time I graduated high school, my time was devoted to the gym and the only other interest I had was high school wrestling. It still did not compete with my love for weight training. I became a police officer. I wrestled in the WWWF (World Wide Wrestling Federation) then. I moved to Atlanta in 1984. By this time had achieved considerable recognition in the sport of Powerlifting. I was still using Wrestling as a side income for my true passion.
To learn me about me click here
ASL: How did you come up with your nickname?
Busick: Since I was only 6 -0, 280 lb. being flamboyant was not my style. I made a list of wrestlers my height and weight (Sammartino, Crusher Losowski, Bulldog Brower, Dick the Bruiser to name a few), a list of the ethnically colorful people of my hometown of Weirton and their mannerisms and watched Warner Brother Cartoons. I had it! A Derby Hat, Cigar, and a Red Turtle Neck. Now all I needed was a name. Another friend, Joe Pedicino (a well-known commentator) and I talked about this transformation and he loved the characterization. Joe said, "I got it! You just described a bully." Thus, BIG BULLY BUSICK was born.
ASL: How long have you been involved in powerlifting?
Busick: I've been competing in powerlifting since 1974. I am now retired from competition (since 1996) and have turned my attention towards promoting and organizing meets. I am also an APA certified ref.
ASL: You are organizing what looks like will be a massive sized meet. Could you tell us when it is and could you tell us a little about it?
Busick: It is called the Mountaineer Cup. I first thought of this concept of one meet, which would determine beyond a shadow of a doubt, who the strongest powerlifter is in approximately 1988 . I have always believed powerlifting had been restricted to a market of its own peers. If properly promoted and marketed, powerlifting could make its own path in the sports world. The Mountaineer Cup is designed to bring powerlifting to this market. More about the meet can be found on the internet at http://web.mountain.net/~bu118/
ASL: Is it strictly open to US powerlifters or is it international?
Busick: It is open to anyone who wishes to enter. ANYONE!
ASL: I also understand that this will be an APA sanctioned meet, why did you choose the APA? Will the judges be APA accredited also?
Busick: The proceeding competitions prior to the Mountaineer Cup will be APA sanctioned event. There are many state and national divisions along with an open division. The Mountaineer Cup will use the rules of the APA with some modifications in drug testing and the addition of a double elimination rule. The Cup is not an APA sanctioned event. Judges will be used according to APA standards for all of the competitions. Upon research of the various federations, WPA/APA reflected more positively towards the sport and its competitors. This judgment was made by me as the meet director.
ASL: So, gear (i.e. single ply bench shirts, single ply squat suits, single ply deadlifting suits, knee wraps, wrist wraps, belt) will be allowed, right? How do you address the objections of the "raw" lifting movement? How will the drug testing be handled?
Busick: This meet is run according to the APA rules and the rules allow for gear. RAW issues are addressed according to APA standards. Second, since Mountaineer Race Track & Gaming Resort is governed by the West Virginia Racing Commission, its policy of drug testing will be the method used. This will also be posted on the web site or can be viewed in the application packet.
ASL: Could you tell us a little about the venue?
Busick: This meet will take place at the Mountaineer Race Track & Gaming Resort in Chester, West Virginia. If bodybuilding can have the Olympia, then powerlifting warrants a competition of this magnitude.
ASL: Why did you decide to put on this meet?
Busick: With the exception of entering a few bench meets after leaving the WWF, I had distanced myself from powerlifting. I had no time for trivial federation disputes. As I became more involved with strength training at a high school level, I found myself back in the sport. This was due to my style of strength training for football and wrestling. There is no other basic program better than powerlifting for these athletes and powerlifting provides a fun way of competing in the off season for these athletes with great results. I had to make a decision which meets to go to that would benefit these athletes I was training and the APA seemed most effective. Then, I thought that there should be a definitive meet that would determine who is the strongest powerlifter. The mountaineer cup was born.
ASL: From what I understand this day of lifting will center around the Mountaineer Cup, what is it?
Busick: It's an open competition. No weight classes will govern this contest. It will consist of lifters anywhere who have recorded a total in any federation sanctioned competition. An affidavit or equivalent thereof from the meet director verifying a total is required. The whole purpose of this competition is to establish the UNDISPUTED HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION of the WORLD, create revenue for the lifters and wake the world up, giving credibility to the sport of Powerlifting. Since Powerlifting is the father of strength training and every sport, this is long overdue.
ASL: So the best lifter will not be determined by Wilkes or Schwartz/Malone formula, but instead just by raw total weight lifted, right?
Busick: Highest total wins! The double elimination rule will force lifters to train all three lifts. This will bring the sport back to its original format.
ASL: You have invited a new type of meet: the double elimination. Could you tell us about it?
Busick: The double elimination will create two avenues to be eliminated. After the Squats, 1/3 of the lowest will be eliminated. After the sub totals, the next third GONE! Resulting in 1/3 of the competitors are left to win after a total is decided by deadlifts.
ASL: So, basically in order to make it out of the first and second cuts, you need to be really solid. Conceivably, in this meet format, someone who is known for their tremendous deadlifting ability, like Vince Anello who had a decent squat and a decent bench but a phenomenal deadlift, may not make the first two cuts, but could have been the overall winner if he had been allowed to deadlift. Would you care to comment on that?
Busick: The caliber of lifter competing in the Cup is capable of training to win. Lifters will train accordingly. These lifters have the knowledge and ability to train for the big total. If they don't like this rule don't come. Take the shot at losing the prize. There is no room for any excuses in the Cup.
ASL: How do you plan on attracting the marquee lifters?
Busick: $60,000.00 in prize money to the winner should do that. In addition, the potential for avenues for big sponsorship contracts will open for the champion of the Cup.
ASL: Now comes the major question: money. How do you plan on attracting sponsors to the meet?
Busick: Mountaineer Gaming will use its resources via vendors to attract sponsors. On a local basis alone, the local TV station will run a minimum of 30 second spots 2 time a week with sponsors who purchase these spots. On an international basis, we will go after the fitness industry.
ASL: Are you offering to set the lifter up with the sponsors or is that something that they would have to do on their own?
Busick: Any sponsor who pays $2000.00 will get to have a lifter wear their logo independently as opposed to various other ways of sponsorship. The best way to explain it is by using the NASCAR example. Look at any of these cars and the promotions displayed on them. Same scenario.
ASL: This meet sounds fantastic on paper; however, I see one major problem. As you know and as our readers may know, the IPF has one big commandment for their lifters- Thou shalt not lift in another competition where an IPF banned or suspended lifter lifts. If they violate this commandment, they could be suspended. It seems to me that you are in a really bad catch-22 situation. With the proposed big money that is involved a few of the banned or suspended lifters may want to participate. If you allow them in, then the USAPL/IPF lifters leave themselves open to a suspension. They might stay away from the contest as opposed to risk being suspended. However, if you don't let the suspended or banned IPF lifters in, then how can the Mountaineer Cup accurately claim to name the National heavyweight powerlifting champion? What will you do?
Busick: I will do nothing. Any lifter that wishes to pass the opportunity to make a year's wages for his efforts to only be recognized by a federation than so be it. I do not care if the winning total is 1400 or 2500. Someone with brains will see that any number of possibilities could happen. Frankly, anyone totaling 1900 plus could win this by it design.
ASL: How can those who are interested contact you?
Busick: Refer to entry forms on the web site or you can send a request via this address:
ASL: Is there anything else that you would like to say?
Busick: I would like the powerlifting community to take its head out of the sand. We have restricted our sport far too long. It is time we introduce this sport to the world. Since the Olympics fail to recognize powerlifting, it is my objective to say WAKE UP WORLD.....The father of strength training to all sports is POWERLIFTING. It's the strongest sport alive. Today's modern strength athlete resorts to Strong Man Competitions or venture into other markets. I want these athletes to have a resource to make a good living and grow to the level they deserve along with allowing the youth of the sport to become more involved.
ASL: It's been a pleasure to conduct this interview and I am sure that I speak for all of us when I wish you continued good fortune in your endeavors.