“The real center of excellence [in the Highland Games] is on the west coast of Scotland, not the east coast,” Dr. Douglas Edmunds told IronMind® today, referring to the west coast locus of the Highland Games competitions he runs.
Douglas Edmunds relaxes at the premiere of the Jon Pall Sigmarsson documentary in Reykjavik - an international strength world party organized by the film’s co-producer, Hjalti Arnason, who, like many at the top in the strength world, have worked with Douglas Edmunds for decades. IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo.
Edmunds, who is known as the Godfather of Strongman, continues to march forward with his plans for what he sees as a critical revitalization of the Highland Games: “We are all about entertaining the public, not so much for the athlete,” meaning that the crowd is fully engaged, experiencing the Highland Games “up close and personal,” says Edmunds. But don’t take this to mean the athlete suffers, though.
“They feel appreciated,” Edmunds said of the athletes in his competitions, explaining the sense of recognition he said his competitions bring to the athletes. “They feel important, famous,” Edmunds said.
And while much has been made of the apparent rivalry between Edmunds’ Highlander concept and what is called the traditional approach to the Highland Games, it’s not exactly the case that a line is drawn in the sand, separating the athletes into two different groups.
Edmunds pointed out that his son, Gregor, had lent his hammer boots to Aaron Neighbour when Neighbour needed a replacement pair for the IHGF Highland Games World Championships in Edinburgh last month - Neighbour won that event, but he also competes in the contests that Edmunds puts on.
Still, don’t think Edmunds has gone soft these days as he gives no ground when it comes to extolling the superiority of his approach to the Highland Games: Citing the historical ties he promotes as dear to his thinking, Edmunds says that his Games attract a superior crowd, with an appeal that takes them beyond “just the meatheads,” he said.