The 24 Hour Fitness Beauty and the Beast World Strongman Challenge
held on June 5-6, 1999 in Honolulu, HI
The IFSA Grand Prix Component
To see the results of the individual events click on the event name
Overall notes: In my opinion, this strongman event was by far the best organized strongman contest that I have ever been at. There is little room for improvement for next year. The apparatus was first rate. The Sea Life Park provided an unbelievable background for the event. The competitors were treated very well. There was plenty of water, carb drinks and other liquids available. There was a very large competitors' tent so they could be out of the sun. The crowd had easy access to the competitors for autographs. The crowd had a great vantage point. TV and other media did not overly constrict the view of the fans. The scoring was done perfectly and efficiently. Jamie Reeves was a fair and strict judge. The announcer did a great job of keeping the crowd into the event and keeping the event moving.
In addition over the two days the IFSA pros could be heard saying that some of the Americans impressed them. Maybe the US doesn't have too far to go to regain its competitiveness in international strongman.
The event was covered by American Muscle Magazine and will air on ESPN for half of its show which will be about fifteen minutes. Of greater note was the attendance of photographers and writers form Sports Illustrated who took several hundreds of photos and interviewed the competitors for a possible future cover story about the history and the current health our great sport!
Congratulations are in order for all of the competitors, it was a great competition making for some really great and memorable moments.
The Power Stairs "Controversay"
The Bodyonics Pinnacle Power Stairs was supposed to be the exciting final "show-down" event featuring arguably the two best power stairs athletes competing today-Jouko and Magnus. To place this into proper perspective the history of this event between Jouko and Magnus needs to be addressed. Up until the 1998 WSM Finals, Magnus had never beat Jouko in the power stairs. However, in Morocco, Magnus finally beat Jouko. That particular version of the power stairs in Morocco featured higher than normal steps (17 inches) and realively light power blocks of 200 kilos or 440 pounds without the normal increasing implements. This year Smauelsson had lost to Jouko at the Helsinki Grand Prix and the Atlantic Hercules. Here, in Hawaii, Jouko was in first place by only one point. The pressure was on Samuelsson. In Hawaii, the power stairs also featured high steps. The first step was 19 inches and the rest were 17 inches. Jamie Reeves decided to start the event on step one to bypass this unusally high first step. There were three 200 kilo (440 pounds) blocks similar in construction to those in Morocco. It was an extremely tall power stairs with six steps. It appeared to be an event that was to Samuelsson's advantage. It would have been a fantastic sight to see.
Several of the competitors took turns warming up with a block bring the weight to the top of the power stairs. It was decided to push the blocks off the top to save time. It landed on the handle. This caused the handle to become warped. Jamie Reeves then became concerned with the safety of the blocks. He obtained a 3 pound sledge hammer and decided to test the strength of the handles. He took three light swings on each of the handles and in each case the handle came flying off. Jamie decided that the event could not go on. It was not safe. The welding of the handle to the apparatus was not done properly to handle the stress that would be put on it. In my mind, standing there and watching as it happend, there was no controversay in cancelling this event. Jamie made the only call. Jamie decided that the IFSA pros would be done for the day and the results would stand. Magnus, clearly disappointed, took it in good stride and in the competitor's tent went up to Jouko and said that the "most important thing was that we performed to a world [class] standard today and made a good showing." Kristen Samulesson, Magnus's wife, was very upset with the circumstances and took it very emotionally. Magnus went over to her to comfort her. It was a pretty touching scene.
Jamie wanted to have one more event for the Americans. There was a lot on the line including an invite to this year's WSM and an all expnses paid invitation with appearnace fees to the IFSA Dutch International Grand Prix and the IFSA Hungarian International Grand Prix. Several options were explored to add another event. The problem was that there was very little equipment on hand. Ken Brown was looking forward to the power stairs as he is a good deadlifter and was hoping to make up the three point lead that Bryan had accumulated over him. Showing great sportsmanship, Bryan Nesse proposed like what seemed to be the only workable solution. Bryan proposed that a log lift for reps from the floor to overhead be done. A vote was taken by the American athletes. In a narrow decision, the event was vetoed and the scores would stand as is. It was an anti-climatic finish to an otherwise superior contest.Back to the main Beauty and the Beast Page