I’m not sure if I’ve ever watched one episode of a World’s Strongest Man Competition that wasn’t part of a TV marathon. They always seem to come on during the holidays, so I think nothing of watching 30 minutes of big strong gents lifting safes over their heads and running around and squatting cars. They’re all impressive, but I will never forget the first time I saw Mariusz Pudzianowski.
He stood out even on a field with some of the most gigantic guys around. He seemed impossibly wide, and as the events wore on, he also proved impossibly strong. And he was fiery too! He was not simply there to compete and test himself, he was there to kick everyone’s butt. That first time I saw him was actually the second time he won the title, and he was winning the events with times that blew the other guys away.
And when he’d win, he’d run up to the camera and start hissing about how it was his year, about how strong he was, about how the others, while great competitors, were not in his league.
And on that lazy holiday weekend it was hard to argue with him.
A lot of people who aren’t familiar with the strength world are now familiar with Mariusz in his first couple of MMA fights. He got stopped by former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Slyvia without too much trouble, and his fight with Butterbean was nothing more than a novelty, the sort of show I’d expect to stumble onto while driving through Wendover, Nevada.
But I have to wonder, if he sticks with it long enough for his technique to match his strength, just how good could he be? How much weight would he need to drop to pick up enough speed and mobility? To gain the ability to throw a punch without being hindered by his ridiculously dense chest muscles?
In any case, I get a kick out of Mariusz every single time I see him, whether it’s on TV, during a competition, or singing with his band (yes, he sings, and his videos are often full of Speedos. check out some of the videos on Youtube).
He’s intense and he brings it to whatever he’s doing. Warning, however: after watching him, you may never feel strong again, so have a think before you sit down in front of the TV for a few hours of strongman competition over a holiday.
I hope he’ll be there at World’s Strongest Man 2011.