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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.

World Strongman Challenge
Tournament information
LocationVarious. Last held Tulsa, Oklahoma[1]
Final year2006
FormatMulti-event competition
Final champion
Lithuania 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 BeastEdit

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   Žydrūnas Savickas   Derek Poundstone   Jon Andersen   Tulsa, Oklahoma
Beauty and the Beast
Hawaii Grand Prix 2003 (held Jan 18 2003)
of 2003 Strongman Super Series
  Mariusz Pudzianowski   Raimonds Bergmanis   Zydrunas Savickas   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)
  Hugo Girard   Zydrunas Savickas   Mariusz Pudzianowski   Hawaiian Waters Adventure Park, Honolulu, Hawaii
2001   Magnus Samuelsson   Phil Pfister   Svend Karlsen   Honolulu, Hawaii
2000   Janne Virtanen   Heinz Ollesch   Svend Karlsen   Honolulu, Hawaii
1999   Jouko Ahola   Magnus Samuelsson   Joe Onosai   Sea Life Park, Honolulu, Hawaii
1998   Magnus Samuelsson   Mark Phillipi  /  Jamie Reeves   Australia
1997   Magnús Ver Magnússon   Heinz Ollesch   Svend Karlsen   Australia
1996   Nathan Jones   Magnús Ver Magnússon   Manfred Hoeberl   Australia
1995   Jouko Ahola   Flemming Rasmussen   Heinz Ollesch   Russia
1994   Andrés Guðmundsson   Manfred Hoeberl  /  Gary Taylor   New Zealand
1993   Gerrit Badenhorst   Magnús Ver Magnússon  /  Jamie Reeves   South Africa
1992  /  Jamie Reeves   Magnús Ver Magnússon  /  Gary Taylor   South Africa
1991   Riku Kiri   O.D. Wilson  /  Gary Taylor &   Hjalti Árnason   China
1990  /  Mark Higgins   Bill Kazmaier   Magnús Ver Magnússon   Canada
1989  /  Mark Higgins   Magnús Ver Magnússon   O.D. Wilson   Brazil
1988   Riku Kiri   Jón Páll Sigmarsson   Bill Kazmaier   Finland
1987  /  Geoff Capes   Ab Wolders   Jón Páll Sigmarsson   Japan
  • Results for the IFSA and Original versions from David Horne's World of Grip.

See alsoEdit


External linksEdit