Let's go back to a simpler time. It's the year 2000. Sept. 11 is still just a random date on the calendar, and I am between eighth grade and high school, probably spending the day outside with my friends, playing basketball or baseball or doing literally anything where you still get to be near anyone. Meanwhile, in Sun City, South Africa, a bunch of beefy dudes with kegerator-shaped bodies are trying to lift a BMW with their bare hands. In these tough times, we all need to find a reserve of strength, so why not get motivated by watching some of the strongest dudes alive play tug of war with a semi truck?
Here are a few personal highlights:
1:07—Watching the competitors get introduced in what looks like a Disney safari resort, I put my money on the hometown boy from South Africa, Gerrit Badenhorst, who looks like a giant Alex Jones. I imagine him screaming, "The virus is a Chinese bioweapon!" as he squats a car.
2:51—The participants make their predictions about who is going to win, with almost none of them picking themselves. My favorite part is where they all keep referring to the guy from Poland simply as "the Polish guy."
5:59—The first event is the Super Yoke, in which the competitors run a course with an 800-pound rack resting on their shoulders. It has a very "dad dragging his entire family while late for a flight" energy.
18:13—Just when you thought you were spending an hour escaping from the current reality of the world, it's announced that a dude had to quit the competition after two events because he contracted an unnamed virus. I shit you not!
22:12—Well, a guy just started bleeding from the nose while lifting a car.
33:37—Note to self: A stout Polish man screaming as he pulls two semis is a scary thing to watch at 3 am.
37:21—"I'm just not strong enough," says a man who could crush my head in with his bare hands after pulling two 18-ton trucks a few seconds slower than his competitor.
48:40—Janne "Pronounced Like Yanni" Virtanen becomes the 2000 World's Strongest Man, and he does a little high step to seal the deal. Congrats to Janne. I think I'll go lift a Prius now.