Live from World’s Strongest Man (with Phil Blechman)

Today I’m talking to BarBend News Editor Phil Blechman. Phil is covering the 2022 World’s Strongest Man contest live on the ground in Sacramento, California. We’re recording this podcast on the Friday before the World’s Strongest Man final, so while we know the 10 finalists, we don’t know how the podium will shake out. Phil gives insights into the top stories and surprises from this year, including a firsthand look at how weather and event conditions impact the competitors.

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Phil Blechman on the BarBend Podcast discussing World's Strongest Man

In this episode of The BarBend Podcast, News Editor Phil Blechman joins us to discuss strongman

  • How athletes (and press) are feeling after three days of qualifying competition — pre-Final (2:26)
  • How the intense heat in Sacramento impacts competitors (4:00)
  • Are the Stoltman brothers the smartest athletes in strongman? (7:00)
  • Surprise performances, both good and bad, along with Phil’s Finals predictions (Spoiler alert: he picked two out of three medalists!) (10:30)
  • The immortal Mark Felix (13:00)
  • How is Brian Shaw approaching this competition? (16:32)
  • Tacky malfunctions (19:00)
  • The spectator and VIP experiences (22:45)

Relevant links and further reading

Transcription

The man still has it, even at 56. Going into any world competition like this, it’s unlikely that he’s going to make a final, just because half of the events are a weakness for him now, because of his age.

 

He won the Wrecking Ball Hold. If it wasn’t for Hooper coming out of absolute nowhere, he would have won the Car Walk. At 56, he is still dominant at several events.

David TaoDavid Tao

Welcome to the “BarBend Podcast,” where we talk to the smartest athletes, coaches, and minds from around the world of strength. I’m your host, David Thomas Tao, and this podcast is presented by BarBend.com.

 

I’m talking to BarBend news editor Phil Blechman. Phil is covering the 2022 “World’s Strongest Man” contest live on the ground in Sacramento, California. We’re recording this podcast on the Friday before the World’s Strongest Man final. While we know the 10 finalists, we don’t know exactly how the podium will shake out.

 

Phil gives us insights into the top stories and surprises from this year’s competition, including a firsthand look at how weather and event conditions impact the competitors.

 

Before we get to that, I do want to give a shout-out to today’s episode sponsor, Colter Dillon.

 

Do you struggle finding a t-shirt that fits as well as that ONE t you loved until it wore out? Do you wish a standard medium was JUST a little bit longer, or maybe a large wasn’t so baggy for you?

 

Then you’ve got to check out Colter Dillon. They personalize the fit for YOU, and they have tons of color options – you can even personalize artwork on the shirt! They deliver your perfect t-shirt every time. Check out Coulter Dillon, and check them out in the show notes as well.

 

Now, let’s get onto the episode.

 

 Phil, I’m always excited to record the BarBend podcast with you, but I’m especially excited today because you are live in Sacramento…I almost said San Francisco. You are live in Sacramento. You are at the 2022 World’s Strongest Man. Just so people know, we’re recording this on Friday.

 

It’s the day between group qualifying and the final. We don’t know who’s going to be the World’s Strongest Man yet this year. Phil is going to know basically before anyone because he’s on the ground. Phil, how are you feeling after a few days of qualifying competition?

There has been three days of qualifying competition so far. We know who the final 10 that have made it to the final. The amount of drama so far this year has been immense.

 

Between new guys like Mitchell Hooper coming out of actual nowhere, literally his six major strongman competition, but is first on the world stage and blitzing through his group as though very, very breezy. The crazy shenanigans that happened during the Stone Off with a malfunction for Bobby Thompson, there’s a lot of action here on the ground.

 

This is the second year that I’ve been here in Sacramento covering the World’s Strongest Man. They’re going to be here again for a third year next year. The final is shaping up to be crazy between…Last year you had an idea of who was going to be at the top of the roster.

 

This year, I want to say seven guys have legitimate play for the top of the podium, given what I’ve seen so far in qualifying.

David TaoDavid Tao

That’s outstanding. Just to set the context here, you’re in old Sacramento. That’s how they brand it. There are a lot of historical elements here. A lot of old trains and cowboy hats from the ranch days, they try and promote. They’re trying to make it part of World’s Strongest Man, which is cool.

 

It’s also extraordinarily hot where you are. Tell us about the weather. How’s that been?

Last year in 2021, every day it was immense, immense heat, triple degrees. We’re talking it peaked at like 108 on multiple days. Here for qualifying stage, two of the three days did something similar. On the first day and the second day of qualifying stage, it hit 100 degrees.

 

These events are outside. Now they moved the events to be much earlier in the day to try and get some of the crisp like 70-degree weather early on for the early events, but the heat still played a major role. We’re on the Capitol Mall here in Sacramento. One of the areas for the field of play is an open lawn that gets beat by the sun by the time it hits noon.

 

The second event on each day was a big factor for the heat. So much so that a bunch of guys put up worst times in the Deadlift Ladder because the floor was too hot.

 

When you watch back later on, when World’s Strongest Man airs their footage, you’ll see some of the guys that were wearing socks during their deadlift on the platform, had to hop off the platform in between deadlifts because the floor was too hot.

David TaoDavid Tao

That is the world’s heaviest game of hot potato. You’re seeing these 400 pound men just like the floor is lava quite literally.

Quite actually. Yeah. A bunch of these guys you saw that they made the choice to lifting shoes, which they may not have otherwise. Then there’s other guys that normally are very comfortable lifting in socks. Some guys were fine. Tom Stoltman, he lifted in socks, and he was fine. Same thing with his brother Luke.

 

Guys like Kordiyaka, he had to hop off the field of play because the floor was just too hot for him.

David TaoDavid Tao

It’s interesting to me that the Stoltmans always seem to do pretty well with the heat. By the way, the Stoltman Brothers, the strongest siblings maybe in human history, one is the current Europe’s Strongest Man. One is the reigning World’s Strongest Man.

Correction there. Luke was the 2021 Europe’s Strongest Man.

David TaoDavid Tao

That’s right.

Novikov took it from him this year. [laughs] He finished second. It was close.

David TaoDavid Tao

My brain is always a few months behind. My apologies. They’re good. Tom Stoltman the reigning World’s Strongest Man, certainly a contender for repeating the title this year. He and his brother Luke both in the final. They’re training in Scotland. They’re training in basically the Scottish Highlands.

 

I don’t know Scottish geography that well, so my apologies to everyone if it’s not whiskey-related. I probably don’t know where it’s located. All that to say, they’re not training in this extreme heat year round but they seem to excel in this environment. Do you think there any factors that might come into play there?

One thing that I’ve noticed about the Stoltman Brothers in particular throughout the qualifying stage, is how immensely grounded both of them are. Compared to a lot of the rest of the field, they seem to be at ease more than anybody else. So much so that even during the events that require a lot of speed, or not much time to think because time is of the essence.

 

They are still have the wherewithal to make sure that everything is in line, everything that they want is exactly how they want it, while they’re running the competition. There was one particular moment during the Loading Race when Tom Stoltman ran. He’s very good in those types of events. He’s very fast on his feet despite being a six-foot-eight monster.

 

On the first element was essentially an atlas stone, they’re carrying an atlas stone across the field of play. He loaded it onto the platform, but he checked to make sure that it was in place before running back to the other one. It was a very, very minor thing to see. It cost him maybe half a second.

 

Making sure that it was there to prevent any type of mistakes shows that he has an awareness while he’s competing, that I think you get with experience. Both of these guys, both the Stoltman Brothers have been exuding that through every single event so far.

David TaoDavid Tao

It’s easy to underestimate the mental factor and how smart you have to be in this sport. I’m curious what you think about this analogy. I liken it to offensive linemen. They’re the biggest guys on the football field. They’re the biggest players on the field.

 

They’re often signing the biggest contracts, or among the biggest contracts. They have to have better field vision than anyone except for maybe the quarterback. The stereotype is, they’re behemoths that push people. No, they have to have fantastic awareness.

 

I think that in strongman, there are so many elements of the competition and so many implements you might come up against, that you might have only trained them by handful of times over the course of a year, but you have to remember back to those and pick up on those lessons extraordinarily quickly.

 

It seems to me like the Stoltman Brothers are among the best in the game at making those mental adjustments and observing what other competitors are going through.

I might put Luke Stoltman as the best at exactly that, in the field. What I noticed about those guys, in particular, is they’re very good at recognizing that this is a long competition. This isn’t a single-day event like most giants’ lives events are. I mean, they will be competing for five days, [inaudible 8:50] .

 

It’s a five-day competition. Even though cumulatively after you do all six, theoretically you do all six events, like a lot of the guys who clinched their group didn’t really need to do the Wrecking Ball Hold or the Stone Off.

 

For the most part, it’s cumulatively, the amount of work that they’re actually doing when they’re competing is a total of maybe 10 to 12 minutes at the end of the competition. Each event they’re running for 45 seconds to a minute and a half at most. It’s not a bunch of cumulative work, but it still wears you out over the course of six days in triple-degree heat.

 

That plays out where the guys who know how to pace themselves, recognize where their strengths are, understand where they’re looking to finish on the leaderboard compared to who they’re playing against at least in qualifying stage. That matters. Being able to have a strategy like that as opposed to going for broke in every single event, even if it’s not your strong suit.

 

Knowing when to pick your spots and leverage the strategy of the fact that the event is long is beneficial that comes from the guys with experience.

David TaoDavid Tao

You talked earlier and we can get to this in a second. You talked more in-depth in a second. You talked earlier about Mitchell Hooper coming out of…Is it Hooper? Is it Merced?

Mr. Hooper. Yeah, from Canada. The Hoops.

David TaoDavid Tao

[laughs] Hoops. I want to make sure I wasn’t saying Hopper because he’s so new. I still don’t have his name burnt to my memory. You’ve mentioned him as someone who came out of nowhere and has excelled. You said burned through his qualifying group.

 

Definitely, someone who could be this year’s world’s strongest man. We’ll see how the cards fall over the course of the weekend. Is there anyone who’s on the other end of the spectrum who surprised you with maybe an anemic performance or they just didn’t seem like they were in the kind of shape you’ve seen them before?

I’ll give a shout out to Mitchell Hooper here first because I don’t think anybody had any expectations for him coming in because there was nothing really to go off of. He’s just too young in the sport to have placed any significant weight on his performance. A finalist prediction piece that I’m working on will come out the same day that we’re recording this podcast.

 

The way that I like in it at the moment, is I thought going in, because of his inexperience, that the World’s Strongest Man stage would be too big for him to put up a performance as first go. I’m learning that the world’s biggest stage isn’t big enough for him.

 

That’s how good he is. Every single time he’s on the floor, whether it’s a heavy event or a moving event, he’s been extremely impressive. I expect him to be a mainstay for a long time going forward after this event.

 

Hooper is definitely a guy to keep your eye on in the final. I would not be surprised if he has the podium finishing his first outing. He would definitely be making a run, especially because the events are conducive to his skill set in the finals, they’re very long. As opposed to guys who haven’t done as well, I’ve been really underwhelmed by Brian Shaw this year.

 

Now that’s not to say that his strength or his caliber on the field isn’t where it’s been before. What is clear is that he doesn’t seem to be as strong in the events that require you to move. A lot of the agility-based events, he’s a 6’8, 400 plus lbs, 40-year-old. He doesn’t have the same foot speed as a lot of these younger guys.

 

That has been very apparent in a lot of these events like the Loading Race, the Deadlift Ladder, the Car Walk like the ones where you need fast feet. He’s just not on the same level at the moment as guys like Novikov or Hooper. In the finals, there’s still a bunch of those events. You have the giants medley, you have the power stairs.

 

There are still a lot of events where you have to move. I think if Brian Shaw is going to make a play for his fifth title, he’s really got to ensure that he comes in first or second in all of the heavy events. I’m talking of the deadlifts, the Flintstone barbell making its return.

 

He’s going to have to excel in those events because I just don’t see how he will be able to make up for the speed that’s required for stuff like the medley.

David TaoDavid Tao

One thing we need to say about Brian Shaw is that Brian Shaw is also an incredibly smart competitor. He has more experience than…I was going to say he has the most experience in the field, but there’s a guy named Mark Felix who’s been the world’s strongest man 17 times.

Just quick shout out to Mark Felix. Oh, my God. I get that he had no chance. He had no path to the Stone Off by the time he got to the Wrecking Ball Hold. That man at 56, oh my Lord. Please, everybody, go back and watch the Car Walk event as soon as you can, that man, he blitzed through the Car Walk at 56. It was unbelievable.

David TaoDavid Tao

He also set a world record in the Wrecking Ball Hold. Mark Felix has been the World’s Strongest Man 17 times. The thing is he’s 56. Those were not all consecutive years, he had some off years for injury and different things like that, but he didn’t start this sport when he was a young man. He didn’t start at the elite level when he was a young man.

He started at 39 or something, right?

David TaoDavid Tao

He started in his late 30s basically at World’s Strongest Man. Again, those haven’t been 17 consecutive appearances. I forget exactly when, but he had a couple injuries here and there. The sport takes a beating.

 

We’re talking about Brian Shaw, maybe being a little slower because he’s 40, which for a lot of strength sports is like over the hill. Oh my goodness. Mark Felix, I’m totally off-topic is 56 years old and still competing.

He’s still good.

 

David TaoDavid Tao

He didn’t make the final, but you have to keep your eye on him if you’re in his group, he’s not a name you want to see in your group.

He has the thing where he has very specific strengths that will throw any group out of whack because he’s always going to do very well in very particular events. He has no overhead strength left. Any event that he goes into, where you have to put a log over your head or a dumbbell over your head, he doesn’t have that anymore.

 

He didn’t put up any reps in the log lift. Last year during the dumbbell medley or the overhead dumbbells medley, he never got a lift up there. It’s clear that his weaknesses now are the overhead strength, but when it comes to grip or moving still, whether it’s the Car Walk or a loading medley, the man still has it, even at 56.

 

Going into any world competition like this, it’s unlikely that he’s going to make a final, just because half of the events are a weakness for him now because of his age, he won the Wrecking Ball Hold. If it wasn’t for Hooper coming out of absolute nowhere, he would’ve won the Car Walk. At 56, he is still dominant in several events.

David TaoDavid Tao

It’s the feel-good story. It’s also just the awesome story because not to dwell on this too much, but I grew up watching Mark Felix at World’s Strongest Man.

I can recall sitting in my living room as a kid watching the metrics World’s Strongest Man and Mark Felix was there.

David TaoDavid Tao

He also wasn’t the young guy there.

He was still one of the old guys.

David TaoDavid Tao

He had the old man grip strength. I was a kid then. We’re not spring chickens anymore, Phil, not to get too much into that, but I do want to just revisit one point we made earlier because we’re just fanboying over Mark Felix. How can you not?

 

Brian Shaw, you said he has to do very specific things to have a podium shot. I think you’re right. Brian Shaw has a lot of experience. Brian is someone we’ve seen in the past really turn on the afterburners in the final. He will sometimes do just enough to make the final and not burn out in the group qualifying stage.

 

He really does jammed his performance up that next level when it comes to the final and leave everything out on the playing field. He’s not going to failure in group qualifying if he doesn’t have to. I wonder if that’s a factor here as well.

There are a couple of things. I think that for the group stage, it was really a wake-up call that he wasn’t doing as well in the group stage. Now, granted, he says that he doesn’t train for the group stage. He trains for the events in the final because this is his 14th straight World’s Strongest Man final.

 

The idea of him going into this event and thinking that he wouldn’t make the final is probably just not on his radar at this point. He’s one of the best ever. He hasn’t missed a final in nearly a decade and a half. I think that after he got a lucky break against Thompson because he had the initiative and the Stone Off, meaning he had to lift first and the Stone Off against Thompson in group two.

 

Thompson had attacking malfunction and Thompson missed his first stone. Brian essentially got a buy through the Stone Off to get to the final.

 

Going into the Stone-Off with the initiative is scary, to begin with. His World’s Strongest Man competition was on the line there. Even though he caught a lucky break, I think the rest day will likely be him getting a chance to recalibrate and recognize that he really does need to turn on the jets in the final.

 

I don’t think the six events really line up that well for him to get beyond the expectation of a fifth or a sixth-place finish. He really has to pick his spots on the Flintstone Barbell, the deadlift. He’s really got to pull out the points there.

David TaoDavid Tao

 Let’s talk about that tacky malfunction. That’s something that if you’re not engrossed in the sport of strongman throughout the year like you are, Phil, or like we are at BarBend, people might not know exactly what tacky is. What happened with that tacky malfunction?

 

It might be the most fun thing I’ve ever said on this podcast, tacky malfunction. What a weird phrase.

Everybody was gasped when this moment happened. Tacky is a sticky substance that strong men will put on their hands and forearms, maybe their shirt as well to help them grip an atlas stone and lift it over a bar or lift it onto a platform.

David TaoDavid Tao

Quick note here. It’s a little bit like, if people are familiar with baseball, pine tar…

 It’s very similar.

David TaoDavid Tao

 …which you’re not supposed to use in baseball. It’s totally fine to use it here. It’s not like they’re hiding it and they’re not allowed to use it. You’re allowed to use tacky, in specific competitions that allow it. It’s within the rules to use this stuff. By the way, if you’re doing bare skin on an atlas stone, when you get to these weights, you’re in for a bad time.

 

Tacky is both a way to increase your grip, but it’s also a way to make it a little more predictable and maybe reduce the likelihood of injury.

Essentially, if you’re bare skinning an atlas stone, what’s likely going to happen is just going to pull your skin off, at these weights. The heaviest stone and the Stone Off was 440 pounds. These guys aren’t messing around with these weights.

 

Oftentimes, you’ll see them either put the tacky directly on their skin or sometimes they’ll also wear a forearm guard and then put the tacky on the forearm guard.

David TaoDavid Tao

You see electrical tape wrapped around forearms.

A bunch of different methods that each athlete has a preference for, but all of them use tacky. Nobody is not using that stuff when it comes to the stones. Brian Shaw was the first to lift against Bobby Thompson. Hooper obviously won their group in immaculate fashion.

 

He won three events. Got a second in one event and then didn’t even have to do the Wrecking Ball Hold. It was Thompson in second place and Shaw in third place going into the Stone Off. Shaw lifts the first stone with relative ease. Of course, you’re expecting them to go to the sixth stone and then attrition each other out.

 

Thompson, somehow right in the first lift, something is wrong. He’s not getting a good grip. He can’t quite get the stone to move. Something is clearly wrong and you can hear everybody going, “20 seconds Thompson, you got 20 seconds.” Because everybody is like, “What’s going on? He needs to lift the stone.”

 

Once the whistle is called, then he doesn’t even budge the first stone. Clearly, he was upset. Something was going on. He pointed to his hand, he referenced his hand, something was wrong with the tacky, not with something that was going on with him.

 

I think it was that he couldn’t manage to get a good grip. That cost him his shot in the final. Afterwards, he stormed off of the field of play. During Shaw’s interview with Eddie Hall after the fact, I could see Thompson on the perimeter of the area by himself trying to collect himself after what happened.

 

I don’t know what the specifics as to what went down but it was very clearly something wrong with the tacky. That’s what cost him his shot to the final.

David TaoDavid Tao

This is pure speculation on my part. I wonder if it had something to do with the heat. Maybe change in the viscosity of the substance, I don’t know.

One thing that was noticed, at the time of the Stone Off, it was about 80 degrees outside. They were in group two. Whole group had already gone. The set-up is also, they had to get a bunch of B-roll for the TV cameras.

 

The stones do sit out in the field of play in that heat for a while. I don’t know how hot those stones get in that timeframe, but that is a possibility that the tacky did not get a grip because the stones were hot.

David TaoDavid Tao

We got to give you a heat gun next year, so you can lean over the railing and take the heat measurements on some of these implements.

It is one of those things where I was very much aware of the temperature going into each event. Group one, really had the advantage for the most part when it came to the heat because they get to go first.

 

In the morning, it’s not as hot, whereas three hours later, group five is going and the heat is increased by 20 degrees. It’s an entirely different competition at that point when you’re competing in those circumstances.

David TaoDavid Tao

Let’s talk about the experience on the ground. This is your second year, World’s Strongest Man. You were there last year as well. Things are a little different this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There was not a fan experience last year. There is one this year. Let’s talk about that. What is it like for spectators?

The spectator region it’s pretty good. They get to be right next to the field of play. Right along the barriers. It’s all outdoors. For the most part, anybody who wanted to come see the show, they get in for free.

 

There’s also a VIP section that is on a raised area above the field of play, so you get a little bit of a better view there, above the cameras and whatnot. Anybody who wanted to come see it or is interested in come seeing World’s Strongest Man, it’s pretty good setup for spectators to be honest.

 

For me covering the event, there’s also some separate areas for me that I can stand and still get a nice visual without having to be among the audiences because a lot of the time I’m writing or covering an event as it’s happening. While everybody’s cheering, I have a separate space from that. I imagine the fan experience, at least standing near them is pretty good.

David TaoDavid Tao

You were so diplomatic there, you said, “When I’m among the…” I know you wanted to say riff-raff. I know that that was something you wanted to say.

You want to know this, I wanted to say, civilians.

 

I’m so used to saying strong men versus civilians because, in my mind, the strong men are just alps, these larger-than-life figures. When I think of the strong men amongst the civilians, you know what I mean?

 

One thing that is noticeable that I can tell that everybody in the crowd would love to see is, even when you know how heavy the things that these athletes are lifting are, there isn’t really something for scale. It’s like no “civilian” is going and trying to lift the log to really show how immobile these objects actually are, but they are heavy.

David TaoDavid Tao

It’s funny. What could the average person do? How many reps? Zero.

Zero. Actual zero. You would not budge a 440-pound stone.

David TaoDavid Tao

They can do none. The answer is they can do none reps.

The answer is zero reps.

David TaoDavid Tao

The last thing I want to talk about because this is a half-hour podcast, we could go on for days about everything you’ve seen and your predictions heading into the weekend. I’m not actually going to ask you to give your predictions now before the finals occur because we’re going to have an article on BarBend about that.

 

I don’t want either of us to sound stupid because this podcast is going to publish the day after the finals. We’re going to keep our predictions to ourselves and pretend like we go three for three. We perfectly predict the podium. One story I got to talk about is Canadian domination. Is it three Canadians in the finals?

3 of the 10 finalists are from Canada, yeah.

David TaoDavid Tao

 If you go by population, Canada not the most populous country in the world. I would call that a disproportionate representation of Canadian strong men.

It’s a disproportionate number of Canadian strong men making the final and it’s crazy that JF Caron isn’t one of them.

David TaoDavid Tao

JF Caron is normally the top Canadian strong man. He had a significant injury at the Arnold earlier this year. He says his career competing at elite level Strongman is probably over because of that. You take the top Canadian, the strongest Canadian off the playing field, yet there are still three Canadians in the final. What is going on?

Whatever they’re doing in Canada in their strong man training is paying off, particularly because Maxine Boudreaux, he came in third last year in his World’s Strongest Man debut. He made it back here into the final in spectacular fashion after the Stone Off.

 

One thing about Boudreau is I think that he could make, not only another one for the podium, but he could improve upon his third-place finish from last year. One thing in particular about him is he’s so muscularly dense. That man is a house when you see him walk by.

 

One thing in particular about his performance is that he is exceptionally good when his back is against the wall. I don’t know if it will come with experience, but I find that he doesn’t perform as well in the early events. It’s not until his competition life is on the line, that he turns it on.

 

When he turns it on, he is unstoppable. That man during the log ladder, when he was falling behind in the standings, during the log ladder, he power cleaned that log like four times. It was insane. He put it more reps than anybody else in the log ladder. His 10th rep was a power clean.

David TaoDavid Tao

He’s not doing the full-leg squat down.

He could if he wanted to.

David TaoDavid Tao

He could, but he’s saving that extra second and just hauling it up.

Then same thing in the Stone Off, he competed in the Stone Off against Cordiyaka and Cordiyaka put up the performance of his life. Shout out to Cordiyaka.

 

By the time Cordiyaka was absolutely gassed, Boudreaux looked like he had maybe six reps left in the tank. Between reps, he’s hyping up the crowd. When he needs to turn it on, he turns it on. I expect him to have a good run deep late in the finals.

 

For Rhéaume, Rhéaume was coming out of nowhere. Gabrielle Rhéaume, he’s a Canadian who was just under the radar, slow and consistent all the way through the qualifying stage, didn’t put up an event win, but made it to third, upset Farris in the Stone Off, and is now in the final.

 

I don’t expect him to put up a podium finish, but I do expect him to like be in the mix.

David TaoDavid Tao

I had a real missed opportunity here when I started this question and I asked you this question. I could have said, “What’s that all aboot?” I didn’t.

 …missed that one.

David TaoDavid Tao

I missed that one. I just took a trip to Canada, so it’s ingrained in my memory. I got to ask. Are the Canadian competitors as friendly as I would stereotype them?

Yes.

David TaoDavid Tao

Maybe even more so probably.

As friendly as you think they are, they are.

 

Honestly, we’re not calling specific predictions, but it would not shock me if the majority of the podium was Canadian this year.

David TaoDavid Tao

That would be a great day for Canada…

Great day for Canada, it would.

David TaoDavid Tao

…and therefore the world. If you get that reference, you should listen to more BarBend podcast episodes. Folks, we’ve come to time on this particular podcast.

 

Phil, this is publishing after the finals, but there’s still more Strongman action to come in the sport later this year. Where’s the best place for people to follow along with that?

Obviously, BarBend.com. I would consider myself a Strongman specialist at this point. We do all of the coverage for all of the major Strongman competitions.

 

We’ve been covering every single event for the World’s Strongest Man plus content in between, including all of the news about withdrawals, about random things that happen at an event that are unpredictable. If you want to know anything Strongman, hop over to BarBend.

David TaoDavid Tao

Phil, thanks so much for your time. Really excited for you to cover the finals for the second year in a row. You’re doing a fantastic job. I think the Strongman community owes you a big, big debt of gratitude. The coverage is better for you.

 

I owe thanks to the Strongman community for having me.