Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting COUNTY GAZETTE to 80360 or email us
Chard man's strongman success against the odds
9:00am Friday 1st November 2013 in News
CHARD’S very own strongman won fourth place in an international contest in Iceland this month despite being plagued by a cold.
Gary Clarke, 36, who has cerebal palsy, pushed his body to the limit in the World’s Strongest Disabled Man competition in Reykjavik and achieved two personal bests, narrowly missing out on a medal.
For the man who usually makes light work of a truck pull, Gary said the end result from this year’s competition was slightly disappointing, but was pleased with a few new records.
He told the News: “It was bad timing. I only managed 18 seconds in the Hercules Hold, which is nowhere near as good as last year, so I was a bit disappointed with that, but you have to look to the positive – I went there with a cold and came out with two personal bests.
“You can’t look back – you have to look forward. I know I can get stronger and bigger physically for next year.
“The competition was brilliant because it is run by Magnús Ver Magnússon, who won the title World’s Strongest Man four times.
“I got to meet him in Iceland and he was one of the guys who initially inspired me to lift weights, so to be there with him was amazing – he’s such a down to earth guy.”
Gary, who trains at Ilminster Fitness in Canal Way, has been power lifting for 15 years and has entered the competition twice before.
Last year he also landed fourth place, and showed improvement in four of the six events which test, grip, balance and stamina.
He made headway this year in the Atlas Stones event, lifting 50kg, and bagged another personal best in the dumbbell press, lifting 30kg.
Gary, who uses crutches and experiences difficulties with his balance due to his condition, thanked his sponsors, Impey Showers and Ilminster Fitness, for their support throughout the hard-fought contest.
Comments are closed on this article.