Hi everybody! It's keeping me busy, but here are the latest news from Finland. I haven't checked all the facts then.  

It's minus 10 degrees Celcius out there. Now it would be a good time for Jouko to try husafel stone again with resin on his hands - it didn't work when there was +30 deg in Morocco, but it's ok when the air is +10 deg or colder. Ok - I don't know really how it handles when it's freezing...  

Winter seems to be a good time for strongman training however, the logs are lighter - and farmer's walk is even more challenging on ice.  

TV2 is going to air the WSM '98 competition 29. Nov.  

Also it looks like Jouko got the film part in director-writer Werner Herzog's film about polish-jewish strongman Zisha Breitbart, who lived in Europe in 1920's. The film will be produced by american Gary Bart, whose uncle Zisha was. Jouko is currently reading the 125-page manuscript and test shoots will probably start in January at some place in Germany. But I think Jouko has stopped talking about finishing strongman competitions, instead he talked something about winning every event in WSM '99 ;-) I heard that this movie will not have a happy ending.  
Strongest Man Alive Contest, St Louis, USA:  

Heavyweight: Ahola wins, Philip Pfister second and Bryan Neese third.  
Middleweight: Juha Tuhkasaari first, Daniel James second and James McGlynn third. Juha won even William Wessels, who has lifted a huge powerlifting total of 1090kg (under WPC).  

ESPN (is it the most popular sports channel over there?) will televise the competition later.  

Ahola won four of 8 events in the final. He silver dollar deadlifted 16x310kg! He was again the lightest competitor. The biggest guys there weighed even 235kg!  

Strongmen competitions are getting to be a bigger and bigger sport in USA. On ESPN only american football is more popular I hear (can't be true because there's nothing on their site).  

March '99:  

  • Helsinki GP
  • Jouko will meet Iron Bull in Ohio at some strength fair, where he will challenge all the others at least in deadlift and stones. 
  • Jouko will be seen at Arnold's Classic, where he will deadlift 400kg and wrestle with stones again. If he does well there, MET-Rx starts to sponsor him. They are interested because of his sporty looks. Fat doesn't sell any more.
Oh, and Juha Tuhkasaari will continue as a boxer also. He will soon meet Boogie Mustonen, who was the finnish amateur bodybuilding champion in +90kg class this year (don't laugh, those other boxers are even worse). Also international strongman competitions in under 100kg weight class will suit him fine. I guess he weighed nearly 115kg in Helsinki last year.  

That's all for now, the Santa is closing fast and we're on a collision line unless I start reading for my exams.