Who are the strongest man and woman in Thorold? A strength competition next month hopes to find out.
The May 28 event is being organized by Niagara Strongman, a group of people who specialize in strength training. Among them is Thorold resident Wes Derwinsky, who won the title of second-strongest man in Canada last summer. Derwinsky hopes the event will give the sport a bigger platform in Niagara.
“Niagara Strongman is the group of people that myself and my girlfriend train with,” says Derwinsky, in an interview with ThoroldToday. “We’re just a group of people that enjoy the sport. We train three to four times a week and are trying to make it grow in Niagara so that we can run bigger shows.”
During the event, 20 contestants will engage in various battles of strength, such as a sandbag toss and a dead lift.
“We’re going to be doing a truck pull so we’ll be pulling a dump truck,” says Derwinsky. “We’ll be lifting atlas stones: the big round, concrete balls that you see on TV. We’re going to be pressing logs over our heads.”
The group might be called Niagara Strongman, but there will also be a significant number of women competing for the title of Thorold’s strongest.
“We’re hoping to have ten women compete,” says Derwinsky. “The interest has grown significantly.”
As for his own strength journey, Derwinsky says he’s looking forward to competing again for the title of Canada’s Strongest Man this summer.
“I got to qualify to go back but everything’s been going okay,” he says. “I have a qualifier in July in Quebec and then the show—if I make it—will be at the end of August again. We’re pretty far out from it to say that I could straight up win it, but that’s definitely the plan, to go in and come out number one.”
The secret to building strength is patience, according to Derwinsky.
“It’s a marathon, not a sprint—just being consistent as much as you can,” he says. “You can’t rush these things. Everyone wants success tomorrow but it doesn’t work like that. I’ve always been the bigger, stronger kid but it took a very long time to get to this point.”
As for which city in Niagara has the strongest people, Derwinsky has an obvious answer: Thorold.
“Because I live there,” he laughs.
Canal City’s Strongest competition will take place in the parking lot of Club Capri on May 28 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Everyone is welcome to come and watch.