“I am not an eskimo! I AM A VIKING!”
No-one could capture the crowd’s attention like Icelandic Strongman Jón Páll Sigmarsson. He was the first ever competitor to claim a record-smashing four titles.
He’d turn to the crowd and chant and shout and get them worked up into a frenzy before competing. When asked about his love of interacting with the crowd, Jón Páll simply said: “I go a bit crazy when I compete. I have to.”
At the age of just 33, Jón Páll suffered a fatal heart attack while training for the deadlift at his gym in Iceland. He was a true trailblazer in the world of strength athletics; imagine what he would have accomplished as a Strongman if he had still been with us today.
Mariusz Pudzianowski has won the WSM championships five times, more than any other competitor in the event’s history.
His began strength training when he was 13, after a school friend lifted him up over his head and held him there for several minutes. Mariusz couldn’t lift his friend up as high or for as long, and wanted to train to do it. It clearly paid off, as he can now bench press 640lbs, squat 837lbs and deadlift 915lbs.
A whopping 98% of you voted him as the first ever member of the World’s Strongest Man Hall of Fame.
Known as the Viking Power, Norwegian Svend Karlsen began lifting weights when he was 14 years old.
Since then he has broken over 30 Norwegian records, and one global one. The Arnold Classic is the only Strongman competition he has never won, despite coming second three times. Even though his early ambition was to become a bodybuilder, Karlsen surpassed that goal at an early age, and has subsequently cemented his place in Strongman history.
Bill Kazmaier became famous for his claim to be “the strongest man who ever lived” and not many would think the three-time World’s Strongest Man was wrong.
After debuting in 1979 to a 3rd-place finish, Kaz returned to absolutely dominate an even more superior field of athletes in 1980. That year, he won 6-out-of-10 events, and finished within the Top-3 of every one besides the Truck Pull. He tied second placer Lars Hedlund in the Overhead Log Lift, but crushed him in overall competition, winning by the widest margin ever – a whopping 28.5 points.
Bill Kazmaier combined his many talents to win three consecutive WSM titles: 1980, ‘81, and ‘82. But he did not compete in the competition when it left America, he now works with WSM as a championed commentator.