Fortissimus 2008 On the Move

"We hope that we a sending a strong message to whoever wishes to see things in a more daring way," Paul Ohl told IronMind®.

Paul Ohl is chairman of Fortissimus 2008, a world-class strongman contest that is stirring tremendous interest in the worldwide strongman community. With an eye toward historical accuracy, an emphasis on the athletic rather than the entertainment side of things, an avowedly non-partisan bent, and an unprecedented call for grassroots input, Fortissimus 2008 is off to a roaring start.

As a result of the initial announcements, questions have been pouring in.

"More than 250 reactions were located online, through forums and blogs. Others came by email. The questioning went from Louis Cyr's strength records to the names of the invited athletes," Paul Ohl said. "Given that situation, the FORTISSIMUS 2008 steering committee held a special meeting on Saturday [October 27] in order to address as many questions and issues as possible."

Following is the statement that resulted from that meeting.


1. FORTISSIMUS 2008 will be a classic of strength. It will be held over the next three years under the same rules. The number of invited athletes may however increase to ten. In that case, the prize money will increase accordingly. As a matter of principle, the prize money will never be less than 50% of the total cost of operations.

2. FORTISSIMUS 2008 is an independent, non-profit organization. It operates under the laws and regulations in effect in Canada and Quebec. Its profits, if so, will be reinvested so to favor the increase of prize money for the athletes competing in the coming years.

3. FORTISSIMUS 2008 will not seek the sanctioning of the event. It will however emphasize and seek close cooperation with WSM, IFSA and all National Strength Athletics organizations or federations.

4. FORTISSIMUS 2008 favors the principle of inviting international strength athletes based on their track record over a number of years, mainly those showing top-five rankings in at least six international competitions.

5. FORTISSIMUS 2008 is therefore, first and foremost, a world-class sport event. It does not seek to be an entertainment show or an exhibition.

6. FORTISSIMUS 2008, also named THE LOUIS CYR WORLD STRENGTH CHALLENGE, will abide by the general rules of competitions as laid out by both the WSM Super Series and the IFSA. However it will not be influenced at first hand by TV broadcasters' guidelines nor by timetable restraints.

7. FORTISSIMUS 2008 will not tailor its events to favor in any way any competitor. Events will be testing on an even base and to the utmost, brute strength, dynamic power and strength endurance, so that the best all-around strength athlete will prevail.

8. FORTISSIMUS 2008 will appoint a technical board that will account for both the equipment and the related poundage. The preliminary weighing in of all implements will be held in public three months before the competition. The official weighing-in ceremony will be held one day prior to day one of the competition and certified by an independent authority.

9. FORTISSIMUS 2008 will favor the official recognition of strength records established during the course of the competition. Strength athletes around the world will be invited to challenge such records every year, up to 2010, under the same rules and technical conditions.

10. FORTISSIMUS 2008 will be running live as far as media coverage is concerned. All aspects of the competition, including full release of the results, will be made available in real time throughout the world.

11. FORTISSIMUS 2008 will launch its website in a near future and no later than January 15, 2008.

12. FORTISSIMUS is a registered trademark in accordance with the provisions of the Trade-marks Act. A certificate of Registration has been issued by the Canadian Intellectual Property Office, an Agency of Industry Canada of the Canadian Government."

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