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The Item: Strongman Competition, Strength Sports, Andrew Oye's Pro Athletes Roundup, WSM Pro Athletes Roundup

The Scoop:
Just Announced: The biggest American Strongman event returns to next month's Olympia Expo at Joe Weider's Olympia Weekend, where (as regular readers of "Andrew Oye's Pro-Muscle Report" already know) the International Federation of Bodybuilding & Fitness will also cap off the 2012 IFBB Pro Olympia Qualification Series and crown its winner in the competitive IFBB Pro League Mr. Olympia bodybuilding contest. (IFBB Pro Phil Heath defends the title.)

The "So What?": The America's Strongest Man contest had been previously scheduled for this coming weekend on August 25-26, in Reno, Nevada. The battle of strength is now rescheduled for September 28-29, at the Las Vegas Convention Center during the Olympia Fitness and Performance Weekend extravaganza. "We are excited to bring ASM back to the Olympia," says American Strongman Corporation (ASC) President Dione Wessels. "The fan base...is always overwhelming. We look forward to introducing new events and to a great weekend of top-notch performances."

Mike Johnston of the ASC and Arnold Strongman Classic Director Dr. Terry Todd also confirmed that the winner of this event gains automatic entry into the prestigious Arnold Strongman Classic at the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus, Ohio, in March 2013. The 2011 America's Strongest Man winner Travis Ortmayer received an invite to the upcoming WSM World's Strongest Man contest on September 15-18, in North Carolina. 2011 Olympia Strongman Challenge winner Mike Burke was invited to compete at the 2012 Arnold Sports Festival, where he placed near the top of the field, won by Mike Jenkins. (IFBB Pro Branch Warren won the IFBB Pro Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic Bodybuilding Championships).

Andrew Oye's Verdict:
The popularity of strongman contests has grown due to the excitement of the competitions themselves, personalities like 3-time America's Strongest Man Champion Derek Poundstone, and, as noted in a recent MUSCLE INK Magazine "Strength + Power" Series article, the branching out of its athletes into other sports like MMA mixed martial arts (5-time World's Strongest Man winner Mariusz Pudzianowski), bodybuilding (6-time Canada's Strongest Man winner Hugo Girard, 2001 WSM Svend Karlsen, 1993 WSM Gary Taylor), and pro wrestling (WWE World Wrestling Entertainment's Mark Henry and Ken Patera; WCW World Championships Wrestling's Bill Kazmaier, 3-time WSM).

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