I started my strongman journey in 1994 holding and competing in the first Central USA Strongman Challenge. Why in the hell would anyone put on and compete in a show? At the time there were no shows around so we wrapped the “strongman” in with a deadlift/bench contest. The show blossomed over time and I enjoyed competing and ended up “turning” Pro in Las Vegas in 98. Over the next 10 years I represented the US Internationally over 25 times.
Father Time has a way of catching up to some faster than others, but many of the aging strongmen wanted to continue to compete. Glenn Ross “The Daddy” deiced there needed to be a Masters’ Pro World Championship and he created the class under his Ultimate Strongman banner. The first year was invite only, but starting in 2012 qualifiers were held around the world. I held the US qualifier in 2012,2013,and 2014. Brad The Wolverine” Dunn won the 2012 show, but was unable to go so I went as the alternate. I placed 2nd in 2012. I came back to win the 2013 and 2014 US titles against pretty stacked field and place 2nd and 5th in the world . Having some personal issues, that didn’t allow me to hold the show, the last two years I partnered with the USS. The US qualifier was held In Indy in 2015 and Louisville in 2016. Van “ The Juggernaut” Hatfield won the last two and has place 2nd and 5th at Worlds. Willie and Mike are not only great friends, but incredible ambassadors of the sport and have helped to keep the Master’s Pro class alive and growing it by adding their USS Masters’ Champs to the mix.
The winners of the USS National Masters’ championship in the LW and HW class earn their Masters’ Pro Card and the ability to win the spot to the Ultimate Strongman Masters’ World Championship. This is an all-expenses paid trip to Ireland to represent our country and fight for a chance to hoist the crown as a world champion.
This year will be filled with legends- Big Z, Vidas Blekitas- the 2016 champ, Antanas Abrutis the 2014 Champ, Jarno Hamms a WSM veteran, and Mark Felix the 2015 Champ. The US Qualifier this year will be held in Bloomington and Morton, IL. The proceeds will be going to the American Cancer Society and if you are interested we still have 4 events left that need sponsors ( all the money goes to ACS).
There are 10 spots open and currently committed are Eric Patterson-2015 USS National Champion, Mike Kromer, Brad Dunn-2012 Champ, myself-2013&2014 Champ, and verbally committed are Van Hatfield-2015 and 2016 Champ, Ken McClelland-2016 USS National Champion, John “The Strongman” Beatty from AMERICA’S Got Talent, Johnny Wasiczko.
Who will be the next USS Masters’ Pro Champion to carry Old Glory to the Ultimate Strongman Masters’ World Championship?