World’s Strongest Man…Sunday

Today, Sunday the 20th, was the final day of the contest. Ten men were competing and the top guys were extremely close, as measured by the point system that they use. I didn’t think I would be let in to the audience, as many people were expected to show up. But a kind lady who recognized me from Thursday called me over before the last event started and asked me if I would like to get closer, then gave me a wrist band when I said yes.

Log lift and Knaak deadlift

The first two events of the day were slightly unusual lifting events. (The last event is the most unusual.)

In the log lift, a weight shaped like a log must be hoisted and held above the head for a split second. Here is a demonstration of what that looks like:

Note that the “log” has bars on its ends where weights can be added to increase its weight in increments of 10 kilograms. Unlike a barbell, where its center of gravity can be kept very close to the body, the thickness of the log means it must be swung a bit away from the body, making it harder to control. The weight of the log is increased until only a couple of the guys can raise it all the way over their heads. Here is one of the taller athletes demonstrating two good lifts at different weights:

This event was held next to the “train station” where the park sells tickets for a short train ride, and a shed houses several train cars and at least one engine. People who were not part of the crowd did have the benefit of standing in the shade across from the station, instead of in the sun…

The overall scene looked much like the events held here on other days.

Knaak is a company that makes tool boxes of all sizes, designed for rugged professional use. The “Knaak Deadlift” uses toolboxes as the weights instead of regular barbell weights. The athletes have to repeatedly lift this weight to knee level until they run out of steam or out of time. I got no good photos of this event, as all the action was too low for me to see.

Atlas Stones

The last and crowning event of the competition is called “Atlas Stones.” Here is a view of the setup from after the event ended:

There are two sets of these balls, so the athletes compete in pairs. The event is timed, but if one guy can’t get all five stones up onto their pedestals, then the other guy wins.

Before I got in, the overall scene looked like this:

Here is my best shot of a guy actually lifting one of the heavy balls up onto its pedestal:

Here is a photo of the winner, Tom Stoltman. He elected to do the event without a shirt. They also get to use this gooey stuff called “tacky” on their hands and arms to counteract the tendency of sweaty skin to be slippery.

Tom’s older brother Luke also competed this year. But Tom did considerably better this year than his brother.

Here we see the pretty interviewer lady talking to Tom after he won this year’s competition.

The awards

Brian Shaw, long-time favorite of U.S. fans, talked to the crowd at the end of this year’s competition.

Then the awards platforms were set up, and all the ten finalists were called out and acknowledged.

This year, guys from the U.S., the U.K. and Canada were the top winners.

Father’s Day

Today was Father’s Day. Though several of the athletes are undoubtedly fathers, Brian’s kids were in the crowd, so he was specially acknowledged, along with all the fathers in the crowd.

There he is with his wife, showing his sons his award.

It was another hot day, somewhere near 100 degrees that afternoon. We were all happy to get out of the sun.

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3 Responses to “World’s Strongest Man…Sunday”

  1. Ekaterina Says:

    You are an amazing photographer, catching all these moments in life and bringing them to the audience!

  2. Concepcion Perez Says:

    Q: Is this an annual Sacramento event? If yes: I hope I can catch this, some time! =)

    • lecox Says:

      They hold it at a different location every year. I heard talk of them returning to Sacramento. If so, that would be unusual.

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