Helsinki GP will be quite a show: Already there have been two big competitions, from which five (?) competitors have cleared their way to the Arena. I don't yet know the results, but in the other competition 40 finns competed against each other, and the other was some kind of Nordic Strongest, with about 20 competitors around Scandinavia (1. Matti Uppa, 2. Jarno Jokinen...). If I understand this correctly, the rest are invited (Samuelsson, Karlsen, Mitchell at least) Must check this later. I'm also thinking of buying a new camera (bigger than the one Manfred had last year :-) 

And like Svend said, the good thing about Helsinki is that the weights will be heavy. 

Oh, and Finns will organice the World Team Championships 1999, which will be held in China (not until late October '99). Kiri is on the team of organicers. Chinese are very interested in these kind of competitions, but they have no experience of organicing one yet.

Jouko Ahola and Juha Tuhkasaari are the strongest men alive. More.
Not exactly news anymore, but I heard that Janne Virtanen broke the car walk record last month with 46.2m.
I'm sorry to inform you that Svend Karlsen can't compete in WSM this year. More...
Seems to be an energetic person... 

Saturday evening in Helsinki Jouko (still having a flu!?) and Ano Turtiainen raised their two-man deadlift WR now to 710 kilos. Conveniently at the professional competition (FPC), which was held there at the same time, Jouko took the European deadlift record in under 125kg class to himself with 387,5kg. 

So you just couldn't rest two days could you? Hey, you can even cancel shows. 

"I got this photo from Bill Kazmaier after the award ceremony (WSM '97) while Derek Boyer was looking at all my photos.  Nice shot of Kaz huh?  I think he's selling them now on his site but of course I got mine for free ;)  
- Chris
Deutschland/Germany GP, 5.9.98 Arnbruck 

Jouko classified this competition as just a show for channel Eurosport without prize money or anything. 

Results ( Competition page
1- Riku Kiri, 34 pts 
2- Jouko Ahola, 33.5 pts 
3- Heinz Ollesch, 32 pts 
4- Flemming Rasmussen, 30 pts 
5- Magnus Samuelsson, 28 pts 
6- Mark Philippi, 25.5 pts 
7- Martin Muhr, 23 pts, organizer 
8- Berend Veneberg, 10 pts 

There were too many max strength events for Samuelsson? 

Jouko had a flu coming and he had trained nine hard days in a row and just one off before this competition, so he was hoping just to place in top three. 

He has had problems with training and rest for there has been so many competitions and shows lately.

The 1st Annual Michigan Renaissance Fair International Strongman Competition 
1st place: Jouko Ahola  
2nd place: Heinz Ollesch  
3rd place: Wayne Price  
4th place: Gary Mitchell  
5th place: Harold "IronBear" Collins  
6th place: Joe DeAngelis  
The referee was Magnus Ver Magnusson. 
World Team Championships (Holland 8-9.8)  
Berend Veneberg & Wout Ziljstra from Holland win! Silver to Jouko and Sami Heinonen from Rauma. Sweden takes the bronze.  

In Power Stairs Jouko beat the previous record by 7 seconds. And he also performed well otherwise. Heinonen should be a very tough competitor to beat but the Dutchmen got it all right this time!  

Thursday morning Jouko leaves to USA and plans to compete in Detroit at saturday and sunday. While he is over there there will be conversations about making a film (called "Invincible") of a polish-jewish strongman who lived in 1920's. According to Hämeen Sanomat Jouko has said, that if he gets the role, his days as an active competitor can very well be over.  

I could say something - but won't. (Thanks to Johanna for tidbits)

Results from Turenki strongman comp. (1. Aug)  
1. Janne Virtanen; Turenki; 61 p.  
2. Jarno Jokinen; Karkkila; 56,5 p.  
3. Harri Simonen; Helsinki; 48,5 p.  
4. Kalle Laaksonen; Uusimaa; 41,5 p.  
5. Juha Harilainen; Paimio; 41 p.  
6. Mika Hiltunen; Rovaniemi; 41 p.  
7. Pasi Mäyrä; Mäntyharju; 32 p.  
8. Hannu Vilkko; Renko; 30,5 p.  

Janne "Jalo" Virtanen, who also won Finland's Strongest Man 1998, couldn't be beaten in his home town. He seems to be in good shape for WSM and also plans to break Ahola's Car Walk WR (43m) during Jyväskylä Rally ("Jyväskylän suurajot").  

Seppo Sohlman tried two times to deadlift 340,5kg at bodyweight of 90kg. That would have been a new WR but he failed.  

Sohlman also lives in Turenki. Funny, but if we take Hämeenlinna and it's closest towns (all together under 50 000 citicens), we get three WSM-class competitors (Ahola, Virtanen, Marko Varalahti) and many of national level.

Translation from a message sent to me by Johanna Lauren:  
Have you already heard about Jouko's new WR? On saturday 1.8. in connection with a strongman competition held in Turenki (FIN), Jouko (who didn't compete himself) lifted a 215kg round stone on a platform over a meter high. He didn't get it at the first try though, he had used too much resin on his hands.  

(And she got a nice photo taken with Jouko afterwards!)

After winning the Hungary GP, Kiri later told in an interview that the weather was too hot for him. No wonder actually, they had to compete 2 days, six hours both, in +39 deg Celcius! It has never been that hot in Finland!  

In the last event, which was power stairs (weights up to 275kg), he left all the skin from his palms to Hungary. That's what he's healing now.  

He also told that he doesn't consider crucifix to be a good event for strongman competitions. It is more like a test of  endurance and one doesn't even need that much strength (hey but the weights have already grown from the "official" 12,5kg close to 20kg).  

Though Kiri has mentioned the events demaning too little strength and too much speed and endurance before, when asked about his favourite events, he said he likes those which include a lot of movement, also because they are good for audience and more impressive to watch than single lifts. Could it be something like wheel barrow then, which he is good at? Movement, but with that much weight that the weaker guys can't move it at all?  

The task of choosing the events for 1998 WSM isn't an easy one. What criteria should be used to decide who's the strongest (of all time)? If we knew the events, we might already know the champion (also "strongest" ever).

I hear that 5 americans can participate in the next WSM (in Morocco?). Let's see if they get staight to the finals again ;-) Funny, but what wouldn't IFSA do for publicity... Hopefully we can send at least Ahola, Kiri and Virtanen, or else why even bother inviting anyone from Europe?!  

Results from IFSA GP, Hungary 1-2.8: Kiri, Rasmusson, Fekete. Good thing that Kiri is in shape again for Word Team Championships next weekend! Badenhorst however pulled his arm and injured his knee? Two months time to recover to The Deadlift Contest in  WSM 1998 (meaning Karlsen,Badenhorst,Ahola)  

IFSA GP, Faroe Islands 28.7: Samuelsson wins clearly over Kiri and Karlsen (47,5 to 41,5 and 40,5). His biggest victory by far, lycka till! Rasmussen (also) surprisingly only 7. - but Philippi starts to learn the tricks (4. 38,5pts)! Heinz Ollesch still hasn't recovered, last place. Why compete yet? What might have been the event results!? Mail me if you know.  

-thanks to Ironmind.com for GP results, it's hard to hear anything from news agencies

The traditional World Muscle Power Championships was held in Scotland last weekend. Jouko won by 87 pts, Raimunds Bergmanis (Latvia) came second with already 15 pts less. 
During the last two months Jouko has made so many World Records that even journalists can't keep up with him. Check his page for that awesome Hercule's hold result (with 190kg in both hands!), other records were made at least in Crucifix (official 12,5kg and notquite2minutes) and in Atlas stones. 

Forget his former records, now he's stronger again!  

I also hear that Gerrit Badenhorst will participate in 1998 WSM!

Jouko Ahola and Ano Turtiainen made a new WR in dual-deadlift, 707,5kg!
 28&25.04 - Finland's Strongest Man Competition 1998, Joensuu 25.04.1998   
1. Janne Virtanen, Turenki (->WSM '98 with Ahola)
2. Matti Uppa, Pori
3. Jukka Laine
4. Sami Heinonen
5. Jyrki Jokinen
(36 competitors participated of 44 enlisted) Kiri, Ahola, Ojanaho didn't compete.   


1. 200kg weight lifted on a 45cm platform, reps/ 1 minute (winner Jokinen, 21 reps)   

2. Log press 105kg (from the ground always), best 12 reps (maybe Jokinen, Uppa, Virtanen)   

3. 318kg tire flip 8 times, winner Uppa (These were the qualification events and for example Osala was left out now, 8 continues)   

4. Truck pull with a winch 20m, winner Virtanen   

5. Wheel barrow 1100kg sports car 20m, winner Virtanen   

6. Loading, 5 sacks   

Virtanen also wrestles in under 130kg class - and was already in the top three last year. Impressive speed and overall strength, max lifts could be his weakness. Turenki, his home city, is famous for ice cream and is very close to Hämeenlinna where Ahola lives.   

Thanks to Teemu Javanainen and Sami Partinen for competition info!

15.03 - I heard Chris had a chat with Manfred Höberl. Here's what she told me about it:   
He said that there will be a strength camp in the fall in vegas and also with a contest for amateur's to participate. And he's trying to put together a one day pro competition too. That's about it except that he also said he would like to put my LIST in the next issue of his magazine. I haven't confirmed that though. 
22.02.98 - Jouko made a new world record at stone press last week. He did 9x115kg, last rec was 7 reps. He had a slight fever...