by David Rémillard
Translation by Sofy Harvey
(Quebec) The bad vibe in the world of the strength athletes was there way before the recent episode between Jean-François Caron and Hugo Girard. To give back credibility to the Canadian Championship, a new non-profit organization was in preparation and is now about to be revealed to the public : The Circuit des hommes forts (Strongman Circuit).
Mike Saunders, the world strongest men – Master 2013 category and a veteran of the Canadian strongman scene, is one of the executives of this new association. He confirmed Saturday to Le Soleil : “Our Board members have been chosen and we have an agent who will contact around 150 festivals in the province of Quebec”.
M. Saunders, 45 years old, partnered with Yan Boissoneault, the head of the Festival des hommes forts de Warwick, competition held for 10 years now. The two men are about to register their organization to the business registrar.
Mike Saunders, who was competing during the Hugo Girard era, deplore the bad vibe that have been going on in the strength athletes environment for a couple of years, mostly in Quebec. He believes that the recent disagreement between Jean-François Caron and Hugo Girard proves it. He pleads that therefore comes the interest of a “politics free” and non-profit structure.
The fact that the Canada doesn’t have its automatic access to the World Championship is another sign that this discipline has lost ground in our country, according to Mr Saunders. He explains : “Before, the first two Canadians were going to the World”. This right was lost “two or three years ago. I don’t know why we lost it. But our goal is to get it back”.
M. Saunders and his partners want a fixed structure. They would like to start developing the amateur aspect to ensure continuity. The experimented athletes, who can lift high caliber weights, like Jean-Francois Caron (triple Canadian champion) will be in the professional category. In the end, the Canadian Championship will lead to a participation in the World Championship to the 2 best athletes, like before. It should happen right next year. “I want the circuit to be in place and functional for 2015”.
Mike Saunders will work on a circuit for professional strong women too. “In the next two years, we want a all women Canadian pro championship”.
Le Circuit des hommes forts will be funded with the revenues from the activities held in the festivals. Boissonneault and Saunders already have all the necessary equipment to held the events.
The Circuit des hommes forts will be a direct competitor of Hugo Girard enterprises, which were in charge of the Canadian Championship over the last years. Many athletes questionned the credibilty of this championship, reserved exclusively to amateur athletes this year as per Hugo Girard’s decision.
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