22.10, Justin McShane, ASL
I think that the inviting of strongmen seems largely based on internal
politics, availability, and the marketability qualities of the competitor.
I really believe that there needs to be a set standard by which the competitors
qualify like the ranking system that we have created. Then a qualifying
heat draw could be made from that. A good example of this concept is the
Rugby World Cup. In rugby all participating nations are divided into zones
where top 3 from each zone qualify and other goes to repechage (Americas,
European, African, Asian, Pacific & a Repechage) and then have qualifying
matches just to get down to the 16 or so invited teams for the actual tournament
which would be the 40 or so in the Int'l qualifying. We know that
most countries hold a national competition to determine their qualifier
for the WSM but not in all cases. This questions the validity of the whole
WSM competition and who is invited to the International Qualifying.
Like last year in Primm the US Strongman was held and 2 qualifiers went
automatically into the Finals but in all honesty they should of only made
it into the international heats. This year there wasn't even a US Strongman
held. Originally the full strength challenge was to be the US qualifier
but did not turn out that way. I can only think of one competitor at the
Challenge who went on to compete in Morocco and that's Wayne Price, a South
This reminds me to about another point I want to make and that is that
nobody even knew who the competitors in the US final were last year. The
only exception would be Harold Collins. There really needs to be a program
available with competitor info such as a brief bio, photo, and maybe even
a recap of how they qualified ( isn't that a bizarre concept?). But this
cannot happen because some competitors are invited literally days before
the qualifying heats begin. If they were qualified on a rank and draw as
mentioned above then this wouldn't happen. This would allow the competitor
time to prepare and more importantly would have a list of alternates(next
in line qualifiers from Int'ls) in case the finalists were unable to participate.
These alternates would know that their chances of being in the final were
very high especially if something happened similar to this year with all
the withdrawals due to injury and illness or because they didn't really
want to go to Morocco like Svend (?). Everyone would have had the
time to train because of the rank & draw will have pretty much established
who would definitely get the chance to compete at least in the qualifying
preliminay heats. Now doesn't that sound a whole lot better?
Might even prevent things from heating up as you mentioned on the page
about the Virtanen/Pfister situation.
Competitions in the US
Maybe if the US had an annual US Strongest Man comp then the level of US
competitors would rise. I'm referring to one of the comments sent
in that you put on the WSM98 page about the weights being so light.
Finland has many domestic and also a national strongman competition held
each year. There really aren't any in the US so how can the Americans
be at the same level? Not unless they specifically train for the competitions
like the other countries do and unfortunately they don't - not yet.
If the Americans were able to gain experience by constantly competing then
they would be more of a threat. I mean hey they surely don't cover
strongman or highland games in the newspapers here like they do over there.
I know that the WSM is taped so that it can be marketed around the world
but I think strongman fans would rather see a "raw" competition over a
"pretty" boring tv show. In other words tape it as it happens not as if
you were filming a movie for Hollywood. Case in point: at the '97WSM Jouko's
trainer, Jarmo "the snake" Makela, ran onto the podium to celebrate with
Jouko at the award ceremony and the camera people kept yelling for him
to get off. To me they stole part of Jouko's victory celebration by telling
his trainer to get off the podium. And there were many other incidents
like this throughout the competition. In my opinion the camera crew should
be taping around the competition and not the competition taking place around
taping. You can see that the WSM97 was dull and boring on tv. All of the
atmosphere and excitement was edited out. I hope the 98 competition is
better because the 1997 competition left a lot to be desired. I could not
even bare to watch it more than one time because it was so awful - the
tv version that is. As it looks now the 1998 comp may even be worse
than the 97 comp and I thought anything would of been an improvement but
Hello. I just want to point out two factual corrections to
"This year there wasn't even a US Strongman held.
Originally the full
Terry Brenand competed at the Full Strength Challenge and in the qualifying
heats in Morocco.
strength challenge was to be the US qualifier but did not turn out
I can only think of one competitor at the Challenge who went on
in Morocco and that's Wayne Price, a South African. "
(Chris 24.10: So that brings the grand total to
two, one american and one south african. Which brings me the question was
Terry Brennan invited because they needed a last minute replacement or
was he intended to be invited all along? He finished in eighth place
at the Challenge so if anyone was to be invited shouldn't it have been
one of the top 3?)
"This reminds me to about another point I want to make and
that is that
Not true. Phil Martin did the 1995 WSM and Mark Phillipi did the
1997 World Muscle Power Classic. Terry Brenand also did the 1996
World Muscle Power Classic. Every athlete knew who Gary Mitchell
was because he had competed at the World Muscle Power Classic for two years
prior to that and was at the 1998 Arnold Classic expo. You should
remember that just because
nobody even knew who the competitors in the US final were last year.
only exception would be Harold Collins."
someone is not on WSM, does not mean that they are a "no-body" in the
(Chris 24.10: Here you have answered your own
question by saying "every athlete knew who Gary Mitchell was."
When I said nobody even knew who they were I was referring to the spectators
not the other athletes or the promoters etc. I never said that they
were nobodies but of the majority of the crowd that was on hand in Primm
in fact only a handful of people knew who they were. The
casual observer did not know who they were, and
you cannot deny this.)