Just a little over a month before the 2020 World’s Strongest Man was set to take place, the biggest and most widely televised event on the strongman calendar has been postponed until November 11 to 15 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The announcement was made on April 7, with WSM posting the following press release (emphasis ours):
The health and safety of everyone involved in World’s Strongest Man remains our top priority, so due to global health concerns regarding COVID-19 (coronavirus) and recent advice from local, state and federal government authorities, this year’s competition is being postponed. The finals will now take place November 14 – 15, following qualifying rounds November 11 – 12, both on Anna Maria Island. We thank our competitors, fans, partners, volunteers and staff for their patience and support, and look forward to welcoming everyone to Bradenton, Florida in November.
On January 14, it was announced that the 2020 World’s Strongest Man would be held in Bradenton, Florida, for the second time in as many years.
But an awful lot has changed in three months.
Not long afterward strength events in and around Asia, like the East Asian Weightlifting Championships in Korea and the Asian Weightlifting Championships in Uzbekistan, were canceled or indefinitely postponed.
In early March, concerns began mounting in the United States and as far as strongman goes, the prohibition of spectators at the Arnold Sports Festival in early March meant that the Arnold Strongman Classic, which rivals World’s Strongest Man as the most important strongman event of the year, was a much smaller event than anticipated. (Thor Bjornsson won, by the way.) Then World’s Ultimate Strongman was postponed from April 11 to a currently unknown date.
[Related: A list of all the canceled strongman events in 2020]
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The biggest domino to fall was the 2020 Olympics themselves, which were officially postponed from July this year until July next year. It’s obviously a smaller event with fewer logistics to consider, but with World’s Strongest Man scheduled for May, some fans were nonetheless surprised by the fact that the event still hadn’t been moved when April rolled around.
But now we have our answer. We hope the date stays fixed and that the athletes have enough time to reorganize their training cycles, peak for the event, and put on a great show.
Featured image via @thorbjornsson on Instagram.