Thirty male athletes will soon be strapping cars on their shoulders, pulling 40,000-pound buses and completing other physical challenges in an event to determine who is the strongest of them all.
The “World’s Strongest Man” competition, in partnership with Visit Sacramento, is returning to downtown this year from May 24 to 29, and for the first time ever, will include a dedicated area for fans. The battle for the strongest man takes place on Capitol Mall.
The 30 male athletes, who are competing from around the world, will be in qualifiers for three days from May 24 through 26, with a rest on the 27th. Finals will be held over Memorial Day weekend, and each day runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“These massive giants who have the biggest hearts come out, and they are lifting apparatuses and have got to be around them,” event spokeswoman Rebecca Levin said. “I always say ‘they make it look so easy,’ and you think ‘oh, I could pull a truck too.’”
The competition involves athletes pulling the new Sacramento regional bus and dead lifting weights up to 750 pounds.
During the car walk challenge, which is returning after several years, athletes get inside of a Volkswagen bug and walk with their head out of the sunroof in a 25-meter race, Levin said.
“It’s a super fun event when you think about what it [takes] to lift a car and seeing these strong men walk with these cars around them,” Levin said. “It’s as though it was a hula hoop to them.”
And for the first time this year, the competition is hosting a free festival for fans which includes food trucks and a dedicated viewing area. People can also tune into a daily show, which will be livestreamed on Facebook, with longtime competitor Terry Hollands interviewing athletes.
This is Sacramento’s second consecutive time holding the unique competition. During last year’s May heatwave, Sacramentans still came out in large numbers to support the participating athletes, Levin said.
“Sacramento has been a warm and welcoming host, and we’ve loved being there,” Levin said. “We’re excited to be back and get the competition rolling.”
VIP tickets are on sale online and include food and drink, meet and greets and exclusive viewing area. Five-day passes are $1,300, and individual VIP tickets are $250 for qualifying days and $350 during the finals.
Next week’s competition will also be broadcast by CBS Sports and other television networks.
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