Flexing their muscles

‘The Beast’ hosts inaugural Cayman Islands Strongman Competition, shares message of overcoming depression

Eddie ‘The Beast’ Hall hoists a pair of students on Friday, 4 Oct. during the Cayman Islands Strongman ‘Be Strong’ youth rally in Cayman Brac.

Schmarrah McCarthy and Dan Florek took home individual titles while Cayman Barbell Club earned team honours, all with the former world’s strongest man looking on, at the inaugural Cayman Islands Strongman competition held last weekend.

About 60 people participated in the event at the Lions Centre, which was organised by Cayman Islands Powerlifting Organisation president Tony McInerney. The competition featured the star power of Englishman Eddie ‘The Beast’ Hall, the 2017 World’s Strongest Man and reigning Guinness World Records holder for heaviest strongman deadlift.

“These experiences don’t come around often in life,” Hall said in a video posted to his Facebook page after a trip to the stingray sandbar. “So you’ve got to grab them with both hands and take them. And I’m so glad I did.”

As for the competition itself, McCarthy and Florek won top honours in the female and male heavy division, respectively. Alex Fox (youth), Louane Silva (female – middle), Zarek McLaughlin (male – light) and Chris B (male – middle) also won their respective divisions while John Gray High School earned the high school team crown and Cayman Barbell Club won the overall team championship.

“I thought Saturday was a massive success,” Hall said. “It was very, very heartwarming to see so many people turn out to support the athletes and the athletes themselves put in fantastic performances right down to the high school students, and seeing the communities get together to support local charities as well.

“I feel that this is year one and the competition will grow and grow and grow as the years progress and hopefully in five or six years’ time, we could have the world’s strongest man event here in the Cayman Islands.”

Outside the competition, the event featured two ‘Be Strong’ youth rallies. Hall and McInerney joined local student Isaiah Bodden for a trip to Cayman Brac where Bodden presented his skit, ‘If Anxiety Had a Voice’. Hall also shared his story of depression and anxiety in front of nearly 1,500 students between the two rallies.

Some of the proceeds from the event were earmarked for local charities including Cayman Heart Fund and the Alex Panton Foundation.

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