19.10, Jarkko  
So Samuelsson won the whole #¤%#&, congratulations. Also to the other competitors who made it to the end. 

Can this competition any more called the "World's Strongest Man"? It has become more and more about endurance. Weights in the Farmer's Walk were only 120 kg. And guys from USA don't seem to manage, even when the weights are lighter than in Finnish district area competitions. A better name for this sport would be "old but nimble men in a good aerobic shape competition". Take off the competition rights from Yankee organization and Rubber Biceps!

20.10, Anonymous (hey, critique at last!) 
Your American bashing bores me.  The Americans deserve to be there every bit as much as the British competitors yet you do not bash them.  Grow up!  I can't wait to see the results of the Strongest Man Alive contest 
Your anti-American propaganda bores me.  Can't you find a new subject?  If you hate Americans so much why do you have a web-page in English? 
Your anti-American rhetoric bores me.  Time to grow up, learn how to spell and stop being so transparent in your support of Euripeans.  News is supposed to be unbiased.  Try it. 

(Sami: I have nothing personal against American competitors and I think Mark Philippi did great before he got injured. Also Pfister ranked high in the finals. The others didn't have enough experience yet. Many people in Finland have already given much credit to Philippi. 

My problem arose when Manfred wrote something like "5 Americans get to WSM, good chances for everybody". Usually there have been just one competitor / country + the reining champion. In this case, Kiri should have not been there either! Last year he got invited because he won the Europe's Strongest, this year there were much more invitations to post. So I shouldn't complain too much really (just maybe Uppa and Ojanaho..). Also Kiri hasn't competed in Finland's Strongest for - I can't remember how many years (somebody might know the reasons for that) - so he won't take that road to WSM. 

I'm sorry I have posted and let to post too many stupid opinions here, but these pages are meant to be biased really. Usually when people post here something, it's very biased. Chris is the only one more objective.  

If these pages were commercial, they might also be politically correct.  
And the reason these pages are in English? Get serious. 

Also Finland is about as American.. as a country here next to Russia can get. We get to see your movies and eat fast food at least. If there were a bit less crime in America, we would probably think more highly of your country than you do yourself. 

I could write a lot more but that would surely bore you. I repeat I'm sorry for all the propaganda and will start targeting Sweden in the near future. I have more friends there. Bad thing Magnus is such a nice guy. Oh, can I still target TWI?) 

20.10, I asked Chris about this and here is what she answered to me 
This is something to be concerned about not because Americans are over sensitive but because, quite honestly, you do seem to constantly put down Americans.  Of course you have every right to be proud of your heritage as we all are but it just seems that only those born in a nordic country are worthy of anything in your eyes.  I myself have always tried my hardest to maintain an unbiased opinion or at least treat all fairly except when I talk about best buns etc.  But you have to realize if the organizers want to push this contest in the US and let's face the truth that this is where the real money will be made well than they are gonna put more Americans in the competition.  I have said before that the American competitors should have to qualify just as everybody else does but my opinion doesn't carry that much weight:) 

Anyways I feel that you could have worded that paragraph differently about Pfister & Virtanen and why did you feel the need to bold it and use a larger type font?  You clearly are over biased in this regard.  Getting back to Virtanen:  I agree that they should have probably put him in because he placed higher but I think they wanted another American in there for marketing reasons and yes it if unfair but did you or anybody else out there really expect TWI to be fair?  I didn't think so. Unfortunately this looks like it will cause more hard feelings than anything else.  Can Pfister be blamed for taking his shot in the final?  Would Virtanen have stepped aside to let Pfister compete if it were the other way around?  I don't think so and you know this is most likely the case.  I think people need to stop blaming Americans for being American and home to the place most likely for WSM to really take off.  Is it not evident enough in the fact that at least 10 web pages have come into existence because of the competition being held in the states last year - this proves that they are headed in that direction in gaining popularity & profit in the US (which is like 50 countries in 1).   In the end those in charge of WSM are going to follow the money paved road to the United States which is, without a doubt, the world's most lucrative sports-entertainment market. 

Shouldn't it have been Boyer and Virtanen as alternates instead of Bowers, Pfister, and Gerard?  There should have been a next in line qualifying list of competitors just in case and they should not have been sent home after the heats.  This should not have included the chosen testers either.  It would have avoided dispute but then the people at TWi/BBC/ESPN haven't got one brain 
cell amongst them.

20.10, Sami  
>Chris wrote: At least you can buy a newspaper to find info on it.  It really must be popular >over there. 

The only popular sport in Finland is Ice Hockey. By far only one paper has written anything about WSM 98, and that paper, Hämeen Sanomat, is published where Jouko and Janne Virtanen live. So that's how popular this sport is here. 

About us having many strongman competitions yearly, well that's true in a way, but only very few of those can be thought to prepare competitors to WSM. Ask Harold Collins about the Snowman competition last year and he can tell. Also there aren't many places where to train strongman. Heavy cases at best, but that's it. 

And in all of these Finnish strongman competitions, there are practically no prizes. And I would not agree with the guy who said they use heavier weights in district area competitions here than in WSM. 

So you must understand, that it's not in any way easier to a Finnish competitor to participate in the WSM. In America you might make some money with muscles, but not here.

20.10, Sami to Chris 
Have you noticed how many web-pages write Juoko instead of Jouko. Well you pronounce it pretty much the same anyway :-) 

(Chris: Now you've made me rethink this.  Let's start over.  Is it pronounced like: yoko like yoko ono? or yooko like you koe?) 

How about Yo!Co?? 

Juoko means "does he/she drink?". So Juoko Ahola translates to "does Ahola drink?" 

(Chris: Well it could have translated to something much worse eh?)

20.10, Chris 
I really think that the comments sent in should not have been added to the page.  Well at least the one by Kari - it's really uncalled for even if it is to be taken as sarcasticly humorous.  You know I could say how bad an impression certain folks from the nordic parties made in Primm last year, but all stupid opinions like these are better left unsaid or better yet unposted. Don't you think it's better not to post people's prejudices? 

(Sami: Ok, now there's a one bad joke less then. See what I mean with I would have more to post. Better not.)

21.10, Bill  
I read your comments on your site about the contest... I'd have to say that your site has, by far, the most colorful comments of any of the sites! 
I think it was kind of obvious that the organizers wanted Samuelsson to win this year, for whatever reason, because the final was built for him. 

(I can't really agree here. The organizers didn't plant the bugs in the food! And the events can't always be like they were in '97. In his current shape, Magnus will place high in any type of competition. As will Jouko. 

I was waiting to see Badenhorst, Karlsen and Ahola deadlift against each other, but it seems that they didn't want to have events which would clearly favor someone. 

Magnus Samuelsson has said: 
"In this sport you have to always have a little bit of luck. If you get events that fit you, then you can score high, and opposite can always happen."  

And I recall Jouko saying something like "Riku will be a tough competitor to beat this year, even though the events don't favor him". 

Now when I'm getting more used to the idea that Magnus won, I think we'll need to give him more credit than just for having a cast iron stomach.)

26.10, Jarkko Hyvärinen  
To you anonymous: Your options are worth nothing as long as you don't post your real name. 

To sensitive Chris: The strongest should win and compete. That is it. No TV-politics no geopolitics and any other bullshit. The competition will never get popular if the competitors are not the strongest men available. 

The only way that I can think to make the WSM (or other strength shows) popular is to do them like Finnish GP was done. It is a show that can be viewed in one sitting (ie. 4 hours max) from one place. Think about a competition in one of your big football stadium with 40000 spectators :)

30.10, Patrick Marinko 
Hi , you guys have a great web site . I live in Tacoma , Wa. (U.S.) and enjoy reading about the strongman news in Europe .As of now Finland seems to have the best men overall , great depth . I read some of the comments from some of the fans , putting down the U.S. athletes etc.Hey , I understand their frustrations especially when Virtanen got passed over by an American Phil Pfister to the finals . But like we all know , TWI does a terrible job in many things they do, that was one of the mistakes . But as far as too many Americans being invited, that maybe so but like someone said that might help to get more dollars into the sport . Because athough these comp. in Finland are popular I read the prize money at the Helsinki GP was only $2000. I do think that Finland should have 4-5 slots in the comp. I see you are going to rate the athletes starting  in '99 , that's great . That's the first time I saw anybody do that (and all-time greats ) . Perhaps , TWI will use your rating as a reference ? Hey , I seen the results of some of the Finland contests but didn't see Ojanaho name in there . Does he still compete , the last I heard of him he was training with Ahola and made an showing here in North Dakota (U.S.) . What's he been up to lately ? Do you have a list of the best Finland strongman ? I know Ahola , Kiri , Virtanen , Ojanaho and Uppa but who else do you think we need to keep our eyes on ? 
thanks keep up the good job ! 

(Sami: Yes, the prize money should be higher to get more talented guys from US to compete. But let's see first what will happen in Strongest Man Alive next weekend. I will post some comments about it later. 

About best Finnish competitors: I don't really know that many of them, so first check the results from Finland's Strongest '98 (biased news page) then add Kiri, Ahola, Ojanaho, Osala and... But I don't know if the future will be as bright as it's now. 

Jouko told me that Ojanaho is still a WSM-class competitor. But I haven't heard much from him either.)