The man was one of a kind - I never had a change to meet in person, but what he did to strongman sport stays here as long as the sport itself.
JPS was very famous in Finland in the late 80´s and 1990 when he won his last WSM title in Finland. He also was a guest competitor in many shows in Finland.
Along Kazmaier and Reeves he was the first foreign strongman, which I saw from tv at age of 14.
Some unforgettable events by him were the atlas stones, farmers walk and car walk..in some competition after the winning result in farmers he walked to interview the audience and still hold the weights in his hands etc...in the other one Riku Kiri was doing the best result in car walk and walked a way longer than anybody before (it was in the icehall and Riku walked the car in the end of the rink, so the bumper was touching the doors)..After that came JPS and walked the car out of the doors
And many of the modern day competitors could learn from JPS that how you can keep the audience warmed up..
"there´s no reason to be alive, if you can´t do the deadlift" - legendary words witch unfortunately penciled out in hard way.
If you haven´t seen the movie yet made my Hjalti Arnason - I really can suggest to watch it.
My previous post about Jamie Reeves reminded me one story, what Jockie Reeves told me about JPS.
Jockie was training in Jamie´s gym trying to DL 230 kg without any success..in the same time Jamie was on the phone with JPS and JPS was asking about the noicy he heard and after that the conversation vent as follows:
JPS: What´s that noicy in the backround?
Jamie: Jockie was trying to DL 230, but failed.
JPS: Ask him to the phone.
JPS: Go back and pull it up - I hold.
Then Jockie went and pulled it up and when he came back to the phone JPS just said like Ok-Good night.
It was a nice story how you can cheer up somebody from the distance
I never had the chance to meet Jon Pall. But my love of Iceland and my many friends in Iceland have allowed me to talk to many people who knew him well.
In 2007, Hjalti took myself, Erik Sauve and Dana Florence to Jon Pall's grave just outside of Reykjavik and then Hjalti took us to his house to watch the Jon Pall movie. Honored by such hospitality from Hjalti, I could tell Hjalti had made the movie as a labor of love for his friend.
And now, because of that glimpse into Hjalti's heart, I know Jon Pall was very special as a person and not just special as the Strongman we all loved to cheer.
Jps was a frequent visitor to Glasgow and also to the gym i trained at.Aside from his amazing strength was his personality,everybody was drawn to him and there was always a buzz about the place when he was in.He was also a really witty guy,one time in the gym he was approached by a guy who trained there,a really skinny guy,all of about 135lbs who was in total awe of JPS,he went up to him and asked "What do i have to do to be like you?"or words to that effect.Jps looks him up and down like he's considering the question then he replied " Be born again!"
Amazing guy,we won't see his like again.
This should go down as a classic of Strongman.
This is what inspired me in creating the Sigmarsson Giant Wheels event presented in both Fortissimus 2008 and 2009, thus honoring the memory of the great JPS.
The name of the competition tells everything: Pure Strength (JPS, Kaz and Capes ). The year was 1987 when there was no WSM.
And this is Zydrunas Savickas honoring the Sigmarsson Giant Wheels.