From: NY
Time: 14:10
Date: Nov 14, 1997
Question: Does anyone know if there is any WSM merchandise which can be purchased? Shirts...hats...jackets?

Answer: There's not much at all. IronMind sells a couple of items (Magnusson shirts), but that's about it. As far as I know, nothing else has been made. If anyone was selling it, they would've had it in Nevada at WSM 97, and I didn't see anything.
jonathan veilleux
From: canada
Time: 15:49
Date: Nov 14, 1997
Question: Why don't we see some of the Olympic greats in WSM? I mean Kurlovich or Taranenko, Botev...

Answer: There have been a few Olympians in WSM, like Capes, Bergmanis, and Wilhelm (although Capes was a shot putter). I asked Bergmanis about that when I met him in Nevada, and he said that the Olympic lifters tend not to do as well because they have specific lifts at which they are experts, but they aren't equal to the powerlifters or strongmen all-around.
L. Craig Conner
From: Bakersfield, California
Time: 03:12
Date: Nov 16, 1997
Question: I've been watching the WSM competitions for about five years. I've noticed that every time the deadlift is included as an event, the bar is extremely high off of the ground. The competitors have to lift the bar only 6-8 inches and lock out. (obviously... less distance = more weight) Is that just to impress the fans, or what?

Answer: Sometimes, it seems as though they focus too much on the apparatus being lifted instead of the lift itself, and are forced into designing a lift of a short distance. Other times though, the shape of the bar makes up for the short distances - in the past, when they've deadlifted carts and the like, the bar has actually had corners.
From: U.S.
Time: 11:12
Date: Nov 17, 1997
Question: Has there been any word yet on whether Magnus Ver Magnusson will be back next year?

Answer: I don't see why he shouldn't be. It certainly seemed that it was his intention to come back next year when I talked to him last month.
Jim Sears
From: Nova Scotia
Time: 07:29
Date: Nov 24, 1997
Question: I'm just wondering if you know who the present executive is on the International Federation of Strength Athletes, if there is a current canadian representative, who he is, the chairman of IFSA, the mandate of it, in other words everything you can tell me about it. Lastly, I'd like it's e-mail address if there is one.

Answer: The IFSA President is currently Doug Edmunds. I don't have any contact information for him, though. Also, as far as I know, there is no Canadian representitive. An American Federation (the AFSA), however, has just been established. I will have more information about it soon, because Manfred Hoeberl wants me to construct a web page for the IFSA and AFSA.
From: Salem, MA
Time: 10:34
Date: Nov 26, 1997
Question: I was wondering if you had any records regarding Franco Columbo's performance. Possibly some footage of his leg breaking during the refrigerator carry.

Answer: I don't have any information personally, but Franco has his own web page which can be found at
jonathan veilleux
From: canada
Time: 14:44
Date: Nov 28, 1997
Question: I'd like to know the results of the Pure Strengh contest in 1987. Also, what's going on with Jorma Ojanaho and Marko Varalahti? Thanks.

Answer: 1987's Pure Strength Contest featured Sigmarsson, Capes, and Kazmaier. Sigmarsson won 8 of the 10 events, to take the title and Capes was injured and only competed in about half of the events. In regards to Ojanaho, he did not qualify for the 1997 WSM because he was unable to beat Ahola or Kiri in Finland's Strongest Man. Varalahti badly injured his back and is recovering. It is uncertain whether he'll be able to compete again.
From: maine
Time: 13:40
Date: Nov 29, 1997
Question: Whatever happened to the bar bend event?

Answer: A number of guys got injured during the bar bend when they used it in the early eighties. Kaz described to me just how difficult that event was, and he mentioned that he tore off a pectoral in that event once. They did, however, use the bar bend as an event in the U.S. Qualifying Heat at the 1997 WSM, I believe.
Ryan Holmes
From: Los Angeles
Time: 11:31
Date: Dec 2, 1997
Question: In your interview with Magnus Ver Magnusson, you mention that he has an "in" with David Letterman. Could you explain that?

Answer: Earlier this year, Magnús appeared on Letterman and squatted a variety of objects, including 500 lbs. of beer, and 300 lbs. of cheese, I believe. I recently put up a picture of Magnus lifting Late Night regulars "Mujibar and Sirajul."
Name: Craig Smith
From: Cincinnati, Ohio
Time: 13:58
Date: Dec 2, 1997
Question: In the interview with Magnus he said something about a log being heavier or unbalanced for his qualifying heat, could you describe what happened? Also, what other competitors were placed in the heats with Magnus? Gerrit? Riku? Thanks.

Answer: There was an event in that heat in which two competitors went at one time in an inclined log press for repetitions. The log they gave Magnus was not the same as the one some of the other competitors had to use. The other competitors in Magnus' heat were Joe Onosai, Svend Karlsen, Torfi Olafsson, Paul Lepik, and Regin Vagadal.
John Holler
From: Albuquerque,New Mexico
Time: 16:37
Date: Dec 2, 1997
Question: I would like to get a hold of Magnus ver Magnusson's fan mail address. Is there any way you could send it to my e-mail address. Thank You!

Answer: There is contact information in Magnus' bio.
Name: Justin McShane
From: Lancaster, PA
Time: 20:48
Date: Dec 2, 1997
Question: I noticed that you interviewed Magnus just right down the road from me. I was wondering if there was anyway that you could let the rest of us know when and where any of the strong men might be appearing in the future so we can go see and /or meet them. Thank you.

Answer: Actually, I interviewed him by phone to Iceland (it was a 45 minute call - I'm gonna be in for a surprise when I get the bill for that one!). I met him in North Wales, Pennsylvania, however, in October when he was doing a personal appearance at the Fresh Fields Market for Iceland Week. I would have posted a notice about it, but I found out about it the day it was happening, and had to miss some of my classes to go see him. It was worth it, though. If I find out about any appearances by the strong men, I'll be sure to post them in the future.
From: Florida
Time: 11:13
Date: Dec 3, 1997
Question: I noticed a logo on the competitors shirts from the early 80's that said "KAZ". It was on the right top of their jersey and was wondering just what that was. Does it have something to do with the greatest strongman to ever hoist a load ---"THE KAZMANIAN DEVIL"? Or is something else? I know it's a silly thing to ask but it's been bugging me.

Answer: I noticed that some of Kaz's friends and family had worn shirts that said "Kaz" and some had "SuperKaz" shirts that were designed like the "Superman" logo. I suppose they just wore them to support him. As for other competitors wearing Kaz shirts, I never noticed.
Chuck Banister
From: New Jersey
Time: 23:16
Date: Dec 3, 1997
Question: I noticed that Magnus' phone number is under his bio. Can you post Kaz's phone number, or are you not allowed to give that out?

Answer: I have Kaz's work number, but I don't believe I'm at liberty to give it out. He just gave it to me because I did him a favor by sending him a picture of mine in which he was interested.
Eric Wechter
From: Oregon
Time: 05:09
Date: Dec 7, 1997
Question: I would like to see the 1987 Pure Strength contest and other strongman competitions like the European Hercules. Are these ever broadcast? Who owns the footage? Who would I contact? Are the WSMs or other strength contests available on video?

Answer: As far as I know, they are never broadcast in the United States. They may, however, air in the U.K. or elsewhere in Europe. I received a copy of two of the Pure Strength Contests from Steve Pulcinella, but I don't know where they came from.
From: Oregon
Time: 05:36
Date: Dec 7, 1997
Question: In your competitor bio on Paul Lepik he mentions a movie about Tom Magee--do you know the title? The only thing I've seen him in is Stone Cold starring Brian Bosworth.

Answer: Tom Magee has had parts in five or six films, and I believe he also appeared in a television episode of Star Trek. I'm not sure of the other movie titles.