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Wall Street Journal - Grip Article Tomorrow


Jedd Johnson

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Kashtan
I will say a few words in support of the Rich: I have a few years to correspond with him, and never in any way, he did not show himself otherwise than as a humble guy.

I believe that the words out of context.

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Anyone interested in competing in the 2013 West Australian Grip Cult Championship. It does include a few ceremonial acts at the alter of the Mighty Torsion Gripper but this should not detract too much

Rich gave me permission to share what he said and here's what Rich told me when I asked him about his comments in the WSJ article: Quote from Rich Williams to me unedited and word for word: I was

I got an email from this Wall Street reporter also, and when I gave him times to contact me I heard nothing. That speaks volumes! Regarding Rich's comments, this may be what he said, and it may be o

Mikael Siversson

The quote is very much in the context of the Wooster competition. It is touching to see some coming to his defence but I have seen very similar attitudes from other strongmen. Guilty as charged (charge being him implying we do weird things in our backyards) until proven otherwise (eg the reporter stating it was a misquote). The reality is that most of these guys perform relatively poorly in non-thickbar events (they are often good with blobs they can easily grasp with their typically large hands). I have plenty of experience competing against strongmen-type of guys so I am not guessing here. This is probably the main reason we don't see much of them in allround grip comp; too much to loose.

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Mikael Siversson

Not only is it an insult, it's an insult in Wall Street Journal. If he was looking for maximum impact, he got it. Imagine Jedd being interviewed in a similar journal and having a go at the strongman community; no I actually can't imagine that.

Perhaps this was a total misquote or taken completely out of context, but barring that it's an insult.

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I read the article once and if you notice the part in question was a narrative on what was said from notes taken from Rich. The writer interjects his words saying that was what the statement was directly referring to. When questions were asked to me there were several return to question and updating of the story notes. The article was very well done and does through the entire article state the atmosphere, mindset, particular differences and life style of being involved in grip at the moment and at the Nationals. I am not defending Rich , he certainly can do this should he choose to but simply putting forth the observation that nothing including statements of strong men are perfect or perfectly understood. Thanks.

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Hubgeezer

If the writer read the ESPN Magazine article on Rich, which I am sure he did, and only had limited space for a piece in the WSJ, which I am sure was the case, I could see that regardless of what Rich said in an interview, that quote would be the best one to use.

There have been 4 Mighty Mitts contests to date, and Rich did not participate in the 4th one, did he?

Lastly, am I the only one who could count to 10 with my fingers? There was mention of the "ninth" Nationals, but they started in 2004, so it would be the 10th, no?

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climber511

When I talked to the reporter he asked and then returned several times to a “rift” between us and them – meaning professional Strongmen, of which Rich is counted a member. Controversy seems to be the “hook” for attracting people to an article and I think he had at some point been told that this was a common feeling among the “names” in Strongman. I have no idea how any of those guys actually feel about the venues, methods, events etc that we commonly use in our competitions – it would be interesting to actually know what some of them think – not what someone else says they think.

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bubba29

When I talked to the reporter he asked and then returned several times to a “rift” between us and them – meaning professional Strongmen, of which Rich is counted a member. Controversy seems to be the “hook” for attracting people to an article and I think he had at some point been told that this was a common feeling among the “names” in Strongman. I have no idea how any of those guys actually feel about the venues, methods, events etc that we commonly use in our competitions – it would be interesting to actually know what some of them think – not what someone else says they think.

interesting...i was not aware of a rift. i wish more strongmen would get involved, i think they would do very well. then again, i understand that for many there is only so much time to dedicate to training. even still, i think many could just show up at local events for the fun of it and do pretty well.

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David Horne

I wasn't aware of any rift, certainly not over here in Britain.

We have had the strongest men in the world compete at our comps. In the past the likes of Laurence Shahlaei and Andy Bolton have lifted in my back garden. There are not too many stronger than these guys.

Also the best armwrestlers in the UK too, mixed with a fair few from a myriad of other sports.

Maybe things are different in the States, or as I said earlier Rich's comment could be totally out of context. But who knows?

Best bet would be to ask Rich if you want to know, and in a way this is kinda taking away from the great exposure your sport got in I presume one of your biggest newspapers (I don't know your newspaper circulations).

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Kashtan

The quote is very much in the context of the Wooster competition. It is touching to see some coming to his defence but I have seen very similar attitudes from other strongmen. Guilty as charged (charge being him implying we do weird things in our backyards) until proven otherwise (eg the reporter stating it was a misquote). The reality is that most of these guys perform relatively poorly in non-thickbar events (they are often good with blobs they can easily grasp with their typically large hands). I have plenty of experience competing against strongmen-type of guys so I am not guessing here. This is probably the main reason we don't see much of them in allround grip comp; too much to loose.

Let me disagree with these statements.
Competitions on thick bar are the most popular and entertaining events for for the layman, so they dominate. This is the opinion of several of the organizers.
And athletes like Rich have a universal force, as for example in the CoC certification number 3.5 - it took him only a month of training.
Edited by Kashtan
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paul valpreda

Part of the reason I'd like to participate in a grip competition is the fact that it DOES take place in someone's backyard. I think the backyard atmosphere would make for an unforgettable experience.

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jchapman

I wonder if the reporter mis-quoted, or took out of context, Jedd and Andrew's statements?

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Bob Lipinski

The quote didn't seem nice, but I've learned over the years not to get to excited about what I read. Hopefully it was out of context.

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jvance

I'm not even sure what point was to mention Williams. The paragraph mentioning him didn't do anything to enhance the story and may even confuse casual readers.

... From a writing perspective it didn't mesh well and it detracted from the very thing he was trying to pique interest into.

Hard to interpret... Anyhoo... Cool to read in wsj

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mightyjoe

Okay guys. I talked with Rich and he even sent me a e-mail with his spoken words contained it the message.

I asked him for permission to post his side of the sorry and if he okays it I will copy and paste it right here.

Rich is pissed and what he said was taken out of context and even twisted! This is precisely why I didn't get

upset in any way over this. The media is well known for these tactics and after meeting BIG Rich (415 lbs.)

I can say that I feel very confident that his character and personality is not of the kind that this WSJ reporter

portrayed. Totally wrong IMO!

Rich is an awesome individual and he shared his whole life story with me and my wife and I must admit that he shared one of the most motivational and inspirational stories I've ever heard come from an athletes mouth! Several moments had me and my wife both getting goose bumps. Unreal, life changing story from Rich!!!

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Okay guys. I talked with Rich and he even sent me a e-mail with his spoken words contained it the message.

I asked him for permission to post his side of the sorry and if he okays it I will copy and paste it right here.

Rich is pissed and what he said was taken out of context and even twisted! This is precisely why I didn't get

upset in any way over this. The media is well known for these tactics and after meeting BIG Rich (415 lbs.)

I can say that I feel very confident that his character and personality is not of the kind that this WSJ reporter

portrayed. Totally wrong IMO!

Rich is an awesome individual and he shared his whole life story with me and my wife and I must admit that he shared one of the most motivational and inspirational stories I've ever heard come from an athletes mouth! Several moments had me and my wife both getting goose bumps. Unreal, life changing story from Rich!!!

That's kind of what I figured happened. That's why there are people called historians. If the journalists weren't under pressure to sell copy, there'd be no need for historians to go back and try to determine a more accurate picture. I met the WSJ reporter, and he seemed like a nice guy. I don't know if it was his decision, or his editor's.

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Wade Gillingham

When I talked to the reporter he asked and then returned several times to a “rift” between us and them – meaning professional Strongmen, of which Rich is counted a member. Controversy seems to be the “hook” for attracting people to an article and I think he had at some point been told that this was a common feeling among the “names” in Strongman. I have no idea how any of those guys actually feel about the venues, methods, events etc that we commonly use in our competitions – it would be interesting to actually know what some of them think – not what someone else says they think.

I was interviewed as well...spent about a half hour on the phone. He seemed to be digging hard to find controversy - especially obsessive type behavior of grip athletes and grippers, my company vs. IronMind, my grippers vs. CoC, who's got the strongest grip, etc., etc.. I was very complimentary to all athletes and equipment manufacturers so nothing I said made the cut! I also agree with what Richard Sorin said in this thread, the article was completely different than the interview I was part of. He was looking for a contest to take some pictures and get a feel for how things run - not a contest to do a feature on - so when I read the article I was pretty disappointed with the narrow focus. Great exposure for the sport but not at all what I anticipated.

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Wannagrip

The media and what they write needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Controversy sells after all.

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mightyjoe

Rich gave me permission to share what he said and here's what Rich told me when I asked him about his comments

in the WSJ article:

Quote from Rich Williams to me unedited and word for word:

I was pissed as well!! The writer took a lot of what I said out if context!! Example he asked me about doing small grip contest and I told him I don't really bother with small grip meets due the fact if I have travel across the country to do one that cosy alot if money that is really not at my disposal when you have a mortgage and kids etc. mighty mitts for example helps cover alot the cost!! He failed to mention a lot of respect I showed towards numerous guys and that there were others that were more well rounded and more talented then me in grip!!! I never tried to disrespect anyone I simply told him generally do big meets!!! As far as the cult thing with grip forums I simply told him I don't bother with it because to many people go back and forth with silly stuff almost like a cult but I was joking when I said it!!

Quote #2 from Rich Williams to me unedited and word for word:

Thanks I really appreciate that!! I felt like I got thrown under the bus with that story!! I emailed the writer to let him know I was not happy and he never contacted me back with an explanation

Please feel free to relay that

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David Horne

As I said in my two posts, out of context.

The media do well if they spell your name correctly!

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Am pleased his words were taken out of context (well, I'm disappointed in the Journalist, but you know what I mean).

I'd love to see what Williams can do on a Euro Pinch device in particular. Anywhere from 80 to 130 kilos wouldn't suprise me :-).

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Having said that, and to be fair to the Journalist, it does show that they at least did their homework properly, in that there are plenty of "touchpapers" to be lit.

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Rich gave me permission to share what he said and here's what Rich told me when I asked him about his comments

in the WSJ article:

Quote from Rich Williams to me unedited and word for word:

I was pissed as well!! The writer took a lot of what I said out if context!! Example he asked me about doing small grip contest and I told him I don't really bother with small grip meets due the fact if I have travel across the country to do one that cosy alot if money that is really not at my disposal when you have a mortgage and kids etc. mighty mitts for example helps cover alot the cost!! He failed to mention a lot of respect I showed towards numerous guys and that there were others that were more well rounded and more talented then me in grip!!! I never tried to disrespect anyone I simply told him generally do big meets!!! As far as the cult thing with grip forums I simply told him I don't bother with it because to many people go back and forth with silly stuff almost like a cult but I was joking when I said it!!

Quote #2 from Rich Williams to me unedited and word for word:

Thanks I really appreciate that!! I felt like I got thrown under the bus with that story!! I emailed the writer to let him know I was not happy and he never contacted me back with an explanation

Please feel free to relay that

Joe - certainly let Rich know that folks took what was written with a grain of salt, and that people understand that he was taken out of context.

Edited by bwwm
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Hubgeezer

If the one paragraph was the worst thing that was said about the sport, that is not bad at all.

Overall, the best exposure by "The Mainstream" yet.

Any idea how this reporter got the idea for the story? I originally assumed it was Jedd, because he started the thread. But the guy spoke with a lot of qualified people, based on what has been on this thread. Was it from someone here? A carryover from "The Arnold"? How did this happen?

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mightyjoe

Rich gave me permission to share what he said and here's what Rich told me when I asked him about his comments

in the WSJ article:

Quote from Rich Williams to me unedited and word for word:

I was pissed as well!! The writer took a lot of what I said out if context!! Example he asked me about doing small grip contest and I told him I don't really bother with small grip meets due the fact if I have travel across the country to do one that cosy alot if money that is really not at my disposal when you have a mortgage and kids etc. mighty mitts for example helps cover alot the cost!! He failed to mention a lot of respect I showed towards numerous guys and that there were others that were more well rounded and more talented then me in grip!!! I never tried to disrespect anyone I simply told him generally do big meets!!! As far as the cult thing with grip forums I simply told him I don't bother with it because to many people go back and forth with silly stuff almost like a cult but I was joking when I said it!!

Quote #2 from Rich Williams to me unedited and word for word:

Thanks I really appreciate that!! I felt like I got thrown under the bus with that story!! I emailed the writer to let him know I was not happy and he never contacted me back with an explanation

Please feel free to relay that

Joe - certainly let Rich know that folks took what was written with a grain of salt, and that people understand that he was taken out of context.

I did. Rich now knows this.

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mightyjoe

If the one paragraph was the worst thing that was said about the sport, that is not bad at all.

Overall, the best exposure by "The Mainstream" yet.

Any idea how this reporter got the idea for the story? I originally assumed it was Jedd, because he started the thread. But the guy spoke with a lot of qualified people, based on what has been on this thread. Was it from someone here? A carryover from "The Arnold"? How did this happen?

I won't be the one to let the cat out of the bag to this question but his name starts with an "R" and ends with an "L". Mmm?

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