Wednesday, 28 December 2011
World's Strongest Man Final 1983
It was at the end of a long day that we came across the televised final of WSM 1983. We'd found TV gold. It had the constituent parts of: a British underdog, early 80s hair styles and fashion, a brilliant referee and a crowd who were a bit too close to the athletes. We were instantly hooked.
There were 8 strangely named events which sorted the wheat from the chaff, the men from the boys and the sheep from the goats. Farmers Walk, Bar Bending, Silver Dollar Deadlift, Truck Pull, Rock Lift, Weight for Height, Wool Hoist and Lorry Loading.
All were designed to sap energy, test physical and mental endurance and brutalise any muscle in the human body. There were other characters alongside Mr Capes and much of the focus fell on a young pretender from Iceland, Jón Páll Sigmarsson, with a series of one liners designed to psyche out his fellow athletes ("This is no problem for Jón Páll", "There is no reason to be alive if you can't do deadlift" and "I am not an Eskimo, I am a Viking!"). Jón Páll proved a fearsome competitor in 1983 and would go on to win the WSM 4 times in the future as well going down in history as Iceland's greatest athlete of the 20th Century.
However, Capes knew that he'd done enough and gave a little leap of joy as the final sack landed on the back of the lorry and in his final interview, he declared many pints and drinks were going to be spilled in Christchurch that night in celebration of a little man from Lincolnshire being crowned the World's Strongest Man with a total score of 49.5.