“Strongman” Competition Lifts A Growing Sport
Second Annual Sioux Falls Event Sees More Competitors In 2017
SIOUX FALLS, S.D.- More than 20 competitors gathered in Sioux Falls Saturday to find out who gets the bragging rights as the strongest.
In a crucible of several events for multiple weight classes, there’s only one goal in mind.
Garner the most points to be able to call themselves South Dakota Strongest man or woman.
For the second year in a row, Sioux Falls hosts the United States Strongman circuit event.
State Co-Chair Tim Feathers said the amount of weight isn’t the only number going up.
“Last year, we only had 15 competing and only two women. This year, we’ve got 23 signed up, eight or nine women competing,” said Feathers.
Feathers said the high amount of competitors is lifted by newcomers.
“This is the first competition for at least half the people here,” said Feathers.
One such competitor was Sioux Falls resident, Charity Small.
Small said the events give her the feeling of a team despite competing against others, individually.
“The great thing about Strongman is everyone pushes each other, you’re cheering for each other, you’re rooting for each other and you’re just trying to be the best you can be in each of the events,” said Small.
Others like Hudson, Wisconsin native Shawn Schueller travel hundreds of miles to compete
Lifters like Schueller come from all over the state, country and even from international locations such as Canada.
He said it gives a sense of camaraderie that comes with competition.
“It’s a great opportunity to meet different guys and it’s also a great way to see how you stack up against those other guys from other parts of the country,” said Schueller.
Feathers said Strongman South Dakota is trying to find more muscle to lift the sport at a local level.
Small, however, said word of mouth could be carrying all the weight.
“When you’re excited about something and you share it, it tends to grow and I think that’s what’s happening,” said Small.
While it is lifters like Small’s first event, Schueller believes they’ll become hooked to the sport.
“I guarantee that most of these guys will go to a second, third, fourth, and fifth event. Having the events, making them available for people to compete, that’s what’s going to get it done,” said Schueller.
The winners of each weight class in Saturday’s event earn the chance to go to the national Strongman competition in Detroit, Michigan in June.