Phil Pfister, Charleston native and 2006 winner of the competition, will be competing this year in his home town. Today's Charleston Gazette has a feature sports article on Phil who will likely be competing in his last strongman competition.
I know Phil and his family personally because our sons go to school together at Mountaineer Montessori. Phil is a great guy and ambassador for West Virginia.
The first time I met Phil was through my son back in 2006 when he came home from school one afternoon and said, "Guess what, Wyatt's dad can pull a fire truck." I said, "Sure he can . . ." Then a couple of days later he came home and said, "Wyatt's dad is the strongest man in the world." Again, "Yea, sure he is . . ." Then I met the 6' 6" 375 lb. Phil at a school event and realized my son's stories were not just playground talk.
I hope that everyone in Charleston and West Virginia will come out to support Phil and the event.
UPDATES (CHECK THE LATEST GOOGLE NEWS):
- Photos courtesy of the Charleston Gazette from the first day of the preliminary competition at Magic Island.
- Photo of Phil Pfister showing perfect form in the keg toss by Charleston based photographer and blogger, Rick Lee, who I suspect will get some great shots throughout the competition.
- Photos by Charleston photo blogger, Jason Means. Check out his Flickr stream for more photos.
- Charleston Gazette article on the first day of the event and how it went for hometown favorite, Phil Pfister.
- Strongmen have big hearts too - they made a visit to the East End Family Resource Center to spend time with kids in the after school program. Check out the details at Jim McKay's blog, Wabi-Sabi. Also, if you plan to go to the events stop by the Strong Families Festival. Check out the video highlights of their visit below.
Today is the first day of the finals of the event. Today's Daily Mail gives a run down of the events scheduled for today and over the weekend. A second article also covers ESPNs film crew and their effort to capture the beauty of West Virginia for the cut away shots during the final produced show for ESPN. Great to see them adding this footage into the final production.
There is also a photo of the 10 finalists. The top finishers in the preliminaries who will be competing over the weekend, including Charleston's own Phil Pfister are:
Sebastian Wenta, Poland; Arild Haugen, Norway; Tarmo Mitt, Estonia; Dave Ostlund, Minnesota; Travis Ortmayer, Texas; Terry Hollands, England; Jason Bergmann, Wisconsin; Derek Poundstone, Connecticut; and reigning champion Mariusz Pudzianowki, Poland. The alternate is Jimmy Marku, England.