World Strongman Challenge

World Strongman Challenge
Tournament information
Location Various. Last held Tulsa, Oklahoma[1]
Established 1987
Final year 2006
Format Multi-event competition
Final champion
Lithuania Žydrūnas Savickas

The World Strongman Challenge was one of the most enduring annual strongmen competitions, running in various guises for twenty years, with only two years break. In that time it attained the position of one of the most prestigious strongman contest in the world, after the World's Strongest Man and the World Muscle Power Classic. As with its two international counterparts it attracted the top quality strength athletes of its era, which included every winner of the World's Strongest Man competition from 1980 onwards including Jón Páll Sigmarsson, Geoff Capes and Bill Kazmaier from the 1980s right up to the current WSM champion Žydrūnas Savickas.


The World Strongman Challenge (WMPC) first took place in 1987. It was a third major strongman competition with the previously established World's Strongest Man and World Muscle Power Classic having made the popularity of strongman competitions a huge success. The WSC in fact helped fill a void left in 1987 by the absence of the World's Strongest Man event and it may have even been introduced for these purpose. The event immediately attracted the very best athletes in the field and the final placings in that inaugural 1987 competition saw both Jón Páll Sigmarsson and Geoff Capes on the podium. In 1988, despite the reintroduction of WSM, the WSC continued and unlike many other strongman events of the era, the WSC managed to continue without a break right up until 1998, at no point dipping in the quality of the athletes competing.

Beauty and the Beast

1998 appeared to be its final year, but in 1999, the Beauty and the Beast competition, established in 1998, took on the title of World Strongman Challenge. In so doing, it immediately attracted the cream of international strength athletics once again. For five more years, the Beauty and the Beast produced world class champions but in a mirroring of the decline of the WMPC, the WSC also began to lose status. At around 2001 a Strongman Super Series had emerged, an attempt to heighten the profile of the sport. The IFSA World Strongman Super Series was being heavily promoted in 2002 and Beauty and the Beast formed part of that. In the end, it became simply the Grand Prix Final held on January 17 2003, finishing off the 2002 season. The very next day, a second Hawaii Grand Prix, again deemed Beauty and the Beast, was held as the opener for the 2003 IFSA World Strongman Super Series. This turned out to be the last holding of the event. Like the World Muscle Power Classic, once the Beauty and the Beast became entangled with the Super Series, it lost its stand alone gravitas and quickly fell from favour. In the tentative schedule for the 2004/05 Super Series there was to have been a November Hawaii Grand Prix, but that season was foreshortened and this did not take place.[2]


In 2006, IFSA resurrected the World Strongman Challenge holding the event in Tulsa, Oklahoma[3] Žydrūnas Savickas won the event, with Derek Poundstone coming in second and Jon Andersen coming in third. This was the final year that the World Strongman Challenge was held.


Year Champion Runner-Up 3rd Place Location
2006 Lithuania Žydrūnas Savickas United States Derek Poundstone United States Jon AndersenUnited States Tulsa, Oklahoma
Beauty and the Beast
Hawaii Grand Prix 2003 (held Jan 18 2003)
of 2003 Strongman Super Series
Poland Mariusz Pudzianowski Latvia Raimonds Bergmanis Lithuania Zydrunas Savickas United States Hawaiian Waters Adventure Park, Honolulu, Hawaii
Hawaii Grand Prix Final (held Jan 17 2003)
of 2002 Strongman Super Series
(24-Hour Fitness Grand Prix Final)
Canada Hugo Girard Lithuania Zydrunas Savickas Poland Mariusz Pudzianowski United States Hawaiian Waters Adventure Park, Honolulu, Hawaii
2001 Sweden Magnus Samuelsson United States Phil Pfister Norway Svend KarlsenUnited States Honolulu, Hawaii
2000 Finland Janne Virtanen Germany Heinz Ollesch Norway Svend Karlsen United States Honolulu, Hawaii
1999 Finland Jouko Ahola Sweden Magnus Samuelsson Samoa Joe Onosai United States Sea Life Park, Honolulu, Hawaii
1998 Sweden Magnus Samuelsson United States Mark Phillipi United Kingdom/England Jamie Reeves Australia Australia
1997 Iceland Magnús Ver Magnússon Germany Heinz Ollesch Norway Svend Karlsen Australia Australia
1996 Australia Nathan Jones Iceland Magnús Ver Magnússon Austria Manfred Hoeberl Australia Australia
1995 Finland Jouko Ahola Denmark Flemming Rasmussen Germany Heinz Ollesch Russia Russia
1994 Iceland Andrés Guðmundsson Austria Manfred Hoeberl United Kingdom/Wales Gary Taylor New Zealand New Zealand
1993 South Africa Gerrit Badenhorst Iceland Magnús Ver Magnússon United Kingdom/England Jamie Reeves South Africa South Africa
1992 United Kingdom/England Jamie Reeves Iceland Magnús Ver MagnússonUnited Kingdom/Wales Gary Taylor South Africa South Africa
1991 Finland Riku Kiri United States O.D. Wilson United Kingdom/Wales Gary Taylor & Iceland Hjalti Árnason China China
1990 United Kingdom/England Mark Higgins United States Bill Kazmaier Iceland Magnús Ver Magnússon Canada Canada
1989 United Kingdom/England Mark Higgins Iceland Magnús Ver Magnússon United States O.D. Wilson Brazil Brazil
1988 Finland Riku Kiri Iceland Jón Páll Sigmarsson United States Bill KazmaierFinland Finland
1987 United Kingdom/England Geoff Capes Netherlands Ab Wolders Iceland Jón Páll Sigmarsson Japan Japan

See also


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