Hall of Fame
Svend Karlsen always aspired to be the best at his sports with an impressive history in strength sports, trying his hand at Powerlifting, Bodybuilding and eventually Strongman. Karlsen won a wide range of strongman competitions during his carrer, including the 2001 World’s Strongest Man. He coined the phrase ‘Viking Power’ and remains one of the most entertaining characters to come out of the sport.
Born in Norway on October 6, 1967, Svend Karlsen wanted to be a number 1 powerlifter from a very young age. He started lifting weights at the age of just 14 and has never looked back.
When Svend first started to lift weights at the age of 14 his goal was to be a bodybuilder, as he started to realise his strength, he began to focus on Powerlifting. The first time Svend tried Squat, Bench-press, and Dead lift he did 150kg, 100kg, 150kg. Karlsen broke numerous records in his powerlifting days including 30 Norwegian Records, 3 European Records and 1 World Record.
In 1990, he started competing in heavyweight Bodybuilding competitions with instant results, winning the Norwegian championships in that year. In 1993 Svend came second in the World Games, which then earned him the right to compete as an IFBB Pro. After competing in a few more bodybuilding events he retired from bodybuilding as a result of an injury.
Karlsen’s first Strongman event was The Strongest Man of the North in 1996, and the second was WSM the same year (even by then he still had not done any specific strongman training). After just missing the final in a heat with Riku Kiri and Flemming Rasmussen, he started to gather Strongman equipment and committed himself to winning WSM. Svend almost made it the year after, but got injured in his best event, the Squat. After coming a close 3rd in 1999, he went one better the following year coming 2nd to Janne Virtanen, winning 3 of the final events that year. 2001 was to the be the year that he made it to the top spot, beating Magnus Samuelsson to 1st place and becoming the 2001 World’s Strongest Man. During his career, Svend won Norway’s Strongest, Scandinavian Strongest, Europe’s Strongest, and The World Strongest Man. The only event he has never won is The Arnold Classic – (2nd place 3 times).
“It’s a real honour to be the 2nd person nominated into the World’s Strongest Man Hall of Fame. A huge thank you for the support the fans have given me in voting and over my time in the sport”
Svend now runs ‘Viking Power Productions’, produces the Norwegian version of ‘The Worlds Strongest Man’ produce and organises Norway’s Strongest Man, and The Svend Karlsen Viking Power Challenge, a WSM qualifier event for the last 2 years. Sven is also moving into online personal training.
Official Website: http://viking-power.no
July 4, 2011 | by WSM