WSMC: Official Statement Regarding Contest in Iran

IronMind® has received an official statement from the World Strongman Cup (WSMC) about the contest it recently held in Iran.

"Statement of World Strongman Cup to competition Iran -Kish Island / Letters Patent to Mr. S. Karlsen

The last days really haven't been as easy for World Strongman Cup Federation as desired. The WSMC intended to hold an absolutely unique strongman competition in a country, Iran, whose culture and mentality differ very much in comparison to the most Eastern and Western countries, in order to provide a historical chance to both - Iran and the international strongman scene as well.

Nevertheless, reconsidered, the plan to hold a competition in such a foreign and difficult country like Iran has been a very brave decision of WSMC, for the Iran has a quite interesting strongman association.

WSMC is very thankful for suggestions and feedback, but only criticism is just not enough and helps nobody. Particularly in situations which are difficult for all participants -WSMC, the athletes, and everybody who made efforts that the competition takes place - all people who love strongman sports should hold together in order to cut the losses.

The competition in Iran was supposed to be a good chance for Iran as well as for the international strongman scene, but unfortunately it was stopped by the Iranian government.

The reason was that an athlete of WSMC, Mr. Arild Haugen from the Norwegian strongman association whose president is Mr. Svend Karlsen, put two Iranian girls on his shoulders. This action is strictly forbidden by the local laws, so there hasn't been any chance for WSMC or the organisers to excuse for him and to continue the cup.

The competition was organised under much efforts and energies by Mr. Vlad Redkin, and licensed with all authorisations needed. WSMC had to face many criticism of a lot of officials due to the imprudent acting of Mr. Arild Haugen, and we never got tired of sticking up for him, defended and excused for him. As a considerable strongman association, we felt in duty bound. That's why WSMC is a little bit confused by the way, Mr. Haugen chose to act his gratitude. In his mail, sent to the Office WSMC in March 2007, Mr. Haugen didn't mention anything of such an apology, moreover there are no information available on the part of the Iranian government or the embassy concerning this matter or the fact, that anybody of the people attending the contest was supposed to be arrested. That's a very serious accusation, we are sure Mr. Haugen is awake to this.

Regarding the fact, that Mr. Svend Karlsen, who used to participate at our World Strongman Cups formerly as well, wants to press Norwegian athletes to pass up many opportunities in strongman sports, saddens us and provokes our thoughts in equal measures.

WSMC would highly regret it for Norway if we'd not be able to present the world via many distinguished international TV broadcasting stations a strong Norwegian athlete any longer. Although there's absolutely no lack of athletes wanting to get the chance to compete in a World Strongman Cup (in fact, the waiting list is pretty filled since months!), it'd be a pity that the Norwegian athletes couldn't be represented any more.

Concerning the unpleasant situation with the payments promised: WSMC understands the awkward situation of the athletes. But we have to tell you that we are noted for handling money matters as unbureaucratic and generous as possible. Just now Mr. Vlad Redkin ensured us to sort all the problems out properly.

We are sorry for all our athletes, but neither WSMC nor the athlete lifting up the girls can be blamed of the acting by the Iranian government.

But please keep in mind: nothing ventured, nothing gained in experience!

It's the main aim of WSMC to improve this amazing sport in order to push it to its maximum level.

In order to gain this goal, everybody who loves strongman sports should pull together, so that an amicable and successful cooperation continues in future as well. WSMC will always be present for problems and suggestions for improvements of athletes and fans in equal measures and is, according to our philosophy of guaranteeing absolutely free and fair competitions besides any unsportsmanlike habits imposed, looking forward for a good collaboration of all athletes, strongman associations and fans.

Best 'be strong' regards,
World Strongman Cup Federation"

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