|World Team Championships 1999
I hear the opening ceremonies were really something to see. 35000 people and about 800 million TV spectators followed the happening live. Every competition event also got live TV coverage in China.
The crowd got a bit smaller during the weekend, but maybe asking 6$ for a ticket was too much in a region where the average salary is only 300$ per month. And people were able to follow it from the TV.
Friday, Oct 8th:
Jouko and Janne were the first to try it of 9 groups. As they couldn't really know what the others will do, they walked as long they could: 119 meters carrying 6 persons on a stretcher!
Samuelsson brothers got 97 and Poland (Jaroslav Dyme &
Saturday, Oct 9th:
Ahola & Virtanen won both the yoke and boat pull. In yoke they were the only team to walk full 25 meters. In boat pull they were ten seconds faster than Veneberg & Ziljstra (HOL), who in turn won the Stones of Strength by 5 seconds. The 6 giant stones were pig shaped!
Standings after two days
Finland, 35Sunday, Oct 10th:
Truck Pull, Loading (sacks), Conan's Wheel and Wheel Flip
J&J won the Truck Pull and Conan's Wheel. Loading Poland won, Jouko tripped over and the guys finished only 4th. They could have started celebrations after 7 events already, but naturally they still flipped the wheel for a 2nd place.
This was the last competition for Jouko this year. Virtanen will compete next after two weeks in Iceland.
1) Finland, 67 points
|Hämeen Sanomat wrote...
The guys from Poland, Jaroslav Dyme & Marius Pudzianowski, performed exceptionally well and achieved a surprise 3rd place.
"Jalo" will keep concentrating on strongman competitions, although many think that he would also now have a good chance to take the Finnish title in Greco-Romanic wrestling. That would mean a place in the Olympics. (Rather just that.)
Interestingly Hämeen Sanomat wrote after this latest victory, that Jouko has already achieved more during his career than any other strongman. Here's the text in brief: He has been World's Strongest Man and World Team Champion twice (with Riku Kiri '97), last year he got two 2nd places. He also won the GP-tour this year and has dominated strongman competitions for the last three years. Before Jouko, Iceland's Magnus Ver Magnusson was the number one strongman with four WSM titles. The Icelander wasn't however as superior in other international competitions.
Interesting. Also... people start to forget J-P Sigmarsson, who still holds the lead if you think of WSM competitions only: 4 times 1st, 2 times 2nd and once 3rd, which is one 3rd place more than MVM has. They both competed / have competed as many years. Both have many many other titles.
Yes, probably Jouko has even more titles by now, but nowadays there are more competitions per year. I won't go on to world records, this comparison is impossible as the guys are (still) so close.
Older articles in Hämeen Sanomat included
Janne Virtanen celebrating the highly successful trip to Malta:
- It was an extremely close competition to the end. I succeeded beating Svend Karlsen with only half a point.
He made it directly to the strongman elite.
- I have good chances for winning the title next year, especially if Ahola takes a ...
- Only Berend Veneberg and Wout Ziljstra pose a threat to our victory in team championships. The Samuelsson brothers are also good, but I don't think they excel this year. Especially when Magnus was suprisingly soft in Malta WSM.
Juha Tuhkasaari will test the events in team championships. (did he?)
Janne has made much improvement from last year. With Jouko he was really able to improve his event techniques.
- I also cut off heavy leg workouts. I was always too tired in event
training and it didn't then seem to work out at all.
Plans for getting the WSM 2000 to Finland.
TWI has supposedly offered the competition to Ahvenanmaa (a big "island"
south-west from Helsinki) or to mainland.
The competition has once before been in Finland - Joensuu 1990. WSM is seen by 500 million people worldwide every year. The competition has been traditionally held in exotic places.
Competition date would be somewhere in July. The biggest problem is maybe money. TWI requires 400 000$ as start money for the project.
|Jouko's first training video is out! Check
out his home page!
I have already ordered it, and I know there's a big demand for this kind of informative video. How big, that will also be a good measurement on strongman publicity worldwide.
Jouko isn't really expecting to sell several thousands right away, but it's good to have these videos made now. The 2nd video about gym training still needs some work before Jouni (his brother) can start sending it. They intend to get it out in November.
I think it would be great if he'd get at least some bucks for sharing out his knowledge about strongman training... Juha Tuhkasaari and Janne Virtanen are good examples that his methods work big time!
Two days ago when I called him he hadn't yet seen the final version even himself. As I haven't yet either, more comments later then.
Jouko has had a great year in all, and the challenges continue! Gets even tougher I think. I'll write more about that next year.
I asked if he had a great trip to China... Panuy, which is an hour boat trip away from Hongkong sounded to be... an hour boat trip away from Hongkong...
Robert Petersson just mailed me about his article and pics from Sweden's Strongest Man competition this year
Follow the link
Ken Brown answered my question who are the most popular ...
Subject: Most popular Finnish athletes in USA
Teemu Selanne is by far the most popular Finnish athlete in the USA. This is due mostly to media coverage. American football, basketball and baseball are by far the most popular sports in the U.S. Ice hockey, golf and auto racing would probably be next on the list in popularity. Teemu has been in the NHL for some time now, is a star player, and is seen almost every night on ESPN and other sports networks during the season. Koivu is probably next on the list. Auto racing is popular in the USA, but most of the coverage is of NASCAR and INDY racing. Formula 1 doesn't get too much media coverage here. Cross country skiing is only seen here during the winter olympics.
World's Strongest Man contests are rapidly gaining popularity in the USA. All strongman competitors know and respect Jouko Ahola, but when I talk to the general public they always mention Magnus Ver. I guess that is because he has won WSM 4 times and has been shown alot on American TV over the past few years. Maybe after they show this years WSM on TV more people will be talking about Jouko.
I enjoyed visiting with Jouko in Malta and learning some techniques from him. If you talk to Jouko, tell him that if he is doing any filming in California, he is welcome at my home anytime.
and here is another answer to the subject from
Jeannette and Jeff Albertson
Date: Fri, 19 Nov 1999
Subject: Athlete exposure in the U.S.
Hello fellas. Great site! Keep up the good work.
I would say the it's a toss up Between Teemu Selanne and Jouko Ahola. Hockey
is the Fourth most popular pro sport in the U.S. And Strongman is not all
that populer to main stream Americans. But Jouko does get quite a bit of
exposure on ESPN2.
Mike G still wondered on Strongest Man Alive forum what might...
Subject: WSM deadlift
We won't ever get to know that and it's even difficult to speculate.
Badenhorst has of course deadlifted more than 380kg, but so has Jouko. Let me remind you this wasn't a gym lift. Jouko wondered if Gerrit's grip had held with the bar they used there, also from what I hear Gerrit was in bad overform during the competition -> didn't qualify. But Jouko also said that he was so disappointed with his own performance that day, Gerrit would've probably won. That day. But then again that particular day Gerrit was probably in worse shape than Jouko! And Svend could've won also, had he been in his best shape. NOBODY WAS.
Also let me remind you, it's not really that important
who would've won the deadlift. Any of these three guys could've won the
others there, had they trained to win the deadlift ONLY! What did Gerrit
My answer from September to the neverending Greg Kovacs discussion:
One guy I almost trust has witnessed Kovacs do 6x270kg in Smith incline press (1996, World Gym Columbus, when he travelled there to see Arnold's Classic). In a way Kovacs indeed is one of the strongest in the world, although he won't make it in the bodybuilding, and wouldn't probably make it in the powerlifting or strongman either. Most of the results there has been posted are bs, but I want to give him some credit anyway (no matter what was his technique when he pressed that amount). He weighed 180kg during that time.
If you could get him to compete in some strongman comp, that would probably get big audiences!