I have, I believe, been fairly open about my love of the World’s Strongest Man, specifically the opening decade of the competition. Whereas today’s competition is professional, modern and scientific, the contests of yesteryear were undoubtedly more tongue-in-cheek. This is not to say that the contests were no less contested and the competitors impressive but rather that as a sport, the WSM was still figuring out its boundaries and its rules.
This transitional stage from kitschy TV show to professional sport led to some wonderful strength exhibitions during the 1980s, my personal favourite being the content of the current post. This competition marked the emergence of Jón Páll Sigmarsson and Geoff Capes first WSM title. It saw contestants bend iron bars, throw weights and load sacks. It saw the competitors deadlift large blocks of cheese for one rep maxes.
Shown in the footage below, beginning at the sixteen minute mark are some of the most remarkable, and to my mind only, heavy cheese deadlifts in human history.
P.S. For those wondering Tom Magee topped the event with 1, 180 lbs. cheese deadlift. I’ll resist the urge to make a pun.