With everyone fresh from having watched World’s Strongest Man 2013 in China over the Christmas break you might find it odd that we’re already discussing WSM 2014. But, if you didn’t know already, the competition actually happens a good few months before it is broadcast on TV. Last year’s competition in China actually occurred in August, with the organisers preventing the athletes from discussing the results until after the TV show had aired. That time of the year has been traditional for the last few competitions, with the Giants Live series of qualifiers determining the bulk of the athletes that are able to attend WSM.
Everything, however, is rumoured to be changing this year. First hinted by Randall Strossen (the man behind IronMind) on his forum in September 2013, the news has recently resurfaced with amateur English strongman David Whittington (author of Gorilla PT – he has some good articles, well worth checking out) claiming to be able to exclusively confirm World’s Strongest Man 2014 will be held in Malaysia in May. British strongman Terry Hollands certainly seemed aware of the prospect of a WSM in May, stating:
I’ll be ready don’t you worry 🙂
over on Sugden Barbell’s forums.
What does this mean? Well, for starters, it rules out any of the Giants Live competitions acting as qualifiers as they did last year. There may be one or two Giants Live competitions that sneak in before May but it certainly won’t allow for a whole field of athletes to qualify. We suspect that, this year at least, the organisers will have to handpick competitors based on last years performance and this year’s early performances in main stream events such as the Arnold Strongman Classic and the Strongman Champions League. In reality, you’ll still see all the big names competing but unfortunately it may hinder the chances of new guys making an appearance this year.
We can’t confirm for sure why the dates for WSM 2014 have been changed but we strongly suspect it to be due to American TV network CBS wanting more sport for their summer schedule. This could well mean the end of Christmas strongman for America. I somehow suspect WSM will continue to be aired over Christmas in the UK – it is, after all, a long lasting tradition.
With China having been particularly tough for the competitors due to the humidity and heat many suspected the organisers would opt for a more habitable location next. Malaysia in May is definitely more bearable but with temperatures still up to 30 °C / 86 °F and humidity likely be high too (the competition could well occur during monsoon season) the conditions will still be pretty tough.
What do you guys think? Does bringing the competition forward matter, should the organisers succumb to the wishes of the TV networks? Is Malaysia a good choice? One things for sure, I suspect a lot more athletes will be bringing their own food this time!