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Sport: The world’s strongest man

Pursuits | By Jim White | December 2017

It has long been a glorious, unmissable staple of the Christmas television schedules: a bunch of improbably contoured supermen flipping tractor tyres, hauling articulated lorries with their bare hands and running along with a barrel-load of gravel under each arm, all in pursuit of the title The Strongest Man In The World. And, over the past couple of decades, the chap, built like a small, armoured vehicle who has won, has invariably come from Finland, Iceland or Poland. This is the field sport of the Viking.  Until this year. Back in May, in the unlikely surroundings of a Botswana game park, 29-year-old Eddie Hall from Stoke-on-Trent became the first Briton to seize the trophy in 24 years. It was a title the amiable, chatty, if freakishly sized Hall had dreamed of holding, ever since he first watched the competition one Christmas when he was a child. ‘For me there’s two...

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