Editorial: "There's Something in the Air"

Not to exaggerate, but IronMind® thinks that Benedikt Magnusson's recent comments, followed by Derek Poundstone's announcement last week, signaled something big that is going on in strongman.

Sure, some people will be quick to politicize Benedikt Magnusson's statement and Derek Poundstone's move, tallying points and casting things in terms of winners and losers for the various strongman federations, but IronMind® takes quite a different view.

Even if you accept, as IronMind® does, that the World's Strongest Man contest is the number one strongman contest in the world, there is room for alternatives. In fact, as IronMind® has said repeatedly, one of IFSA's contributions to strongman was the development and introduction of standardized events and implements, as a solution to the "his log wasn't as big or as heavy as mine" sort of controversy. This had been discussed for years, but it was IFSA that transformed it from a conversation item to actual events on the field of competition. And the Arnold has taken yet another tack, using a core group of events and then adding or subtracting to that, but always with a clear emphasis on strength or power, as opposed to speed or endurance, for example.

Not everyone is the world's biggest fan of either approach, but regardless, both represent viable alternatives to the WSM format.

What IronMind® thinks is happening now is that market forces are shifting again . . . and the competitors are learning that the company store is not the only place where their talents have value.

IronMind® thinks this is good: we like free markets, and we think that in the end, the cream always rises to the top. In the case of strongman, IronMind® has been very close to the center of the action for almost 15 years, and during this time, we have seen various attempts to monopolize this or exclude that, but one by one, we have also seen these artificial barriers crumble.

In 2008, IronMind® predicts the further erosion of walls that were constructed for the benefit of a few at a cost to many, and what will happen is that the top competitors will go to the top contests, which will attract the biggest sponsors, get the most attention from sport's inner circle, and will be preferred by the most discerning fans, as well.

The market will have spoken, and in this case, given who's involved, the roar will be hard to miss.

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