Don Pope: Speaking From WSM

Last year was Don Pope's first time at the MET-Rx World's Strongest Man contest and even though he didn't make it to the finals, he impressed some of the veterans who watched his performance.

Based on how his training had been going beforehand and on how he was doing in the qualifiers, this year Pope said, "I expected to be in the finals." And now he is.

Although he didn't broadcast it, Don Pope was pretty beat up at last year's contest, but after giving himself some time to heal, he has come back stronger than ever.

Pope said that he had been hitting PRs in every workout, on something, for the last six or eight months, and with Mariusz Pudzianowski in his qualifying group, Pope said that he knew if he could hang in there with the Polish Wonder, he was doing really well. "He's from another planet," Pope said of Pudzianowski.

Pope went on to win two of the events in the qualifying round and he beat Pudzianowski in a third event as well, so he knew he was on track to a great performance.

Don't get the idea that Don Pope sees it as a cakewalk from this point forward, though. Reviewing the events in the finals of the 2005 MET-Rx World's Strongest Man contest, he said, "If you have a weakness, it will show through."

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