Amateur Strongmen: Qualify for the Arnold

American Strongman Corporation (ASC) president Dione Wessels has announced that "the first Platinum-Plus show for the 2010 season will be in Columbus, Ohio, during the Arnold Classic Weekend.

"We are very excited to be part of the Arnold Classic. Our athletes have competed there since the inception of the Arnold Strongman event. American Strongman pro Derek Poundstone won the event this year," said Wessels.

According to the official ASC press release, this competition "will be open to NAS (North American Strongman) competitors and international amateurs," and ASC vice president Mike Johnston is quoted as saying, "This is just another opportunity for the American Strongman pro-to-amateur system to be on center stage. An amateur athlete will get a chance to win an ASC pro card on the biggest fitness stage in the world." And here's the carrot: "The new ASC pro will also get a guaranteed invite to the 2011 Arnold Strongman event," said Johnston.

IronMind® asked how this would fit in with the Arnold Strongman contest run by Terry Todd and ASC president Dione Wessels explained, "It is in conjunction with Terry's contest. The amateurs will compete Friday morning and then on Sunday. The overall winner will get a guaranteed spot to the 2011 pro contest that Terry runs."

Asked if an invitation one year out was a little long, Wessels told IronMind®, "Yes, but the winner would also get his pro card and be invited to compete in other shows through out the season."

Given the way ASC was positioned in the official statement, IronMind® asked Wessels a follow-up question about whether ASC and NAS were becoming one organization and Wessels, said, "No, NAS will continue to be the feeder to ASC. Because of athletes such as Derek [Poundstone], Travis [Ortmayer], Van Hatfield, Brian Shaw, and many others, the system has proven that it works. I am not trying to take anything away from any promoter anywhere; we just want to see the sport grow globally while working with other promoters in giving their athletes some of the same opportunities that they extend to the American athletes. This time, it is just on an amateur level. Of course we will continue to do things on a merit basis."

Stay tuned for more details.

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