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The former world's strongest man comes to Ortonville

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May 05, 2010 - Bill Kazmaier, 3-time "World's Strongest Man," will be in town this week.

The 6'3," 315-pound Alabama resident who first won the title 30 years ago, will promote health and fitness from 3-5:30 p.m., May 11, at Anytime Fitness, 250 N. Ortonville Road, then travel a short way down the road for a dinner in his honor from 6-8 p.m. at Bullfrogs Restaurant, 2225 Ortonville Road. The public is invited to these events, which will also feature former Detroit Lions football player Mark Spindler and Anytime Fitness owner Brian Dunaway, who has lost more than 274 pounds.

"The World's Strongest Man" contest has tested the limits of human strength, power and endurance for more than 30 years, according to the website theworldsstrongestman.com. Competitions include Atlas Stones, Fingal's Fingers, Truck Pull and the Keg Toss.

Kazmaier earned the title in three consecutive years, from 1980-82, also won international powerlifting championships, and set multiple world records in the 2-arm curl with the heaviest lift— 400 pounds, as well as consecutively curling 315 pounds of weight, 15 times; and became the first person to bench press 300 kg in competition.

Now 56, he is a commentator for ESPN during the WSM competition, is a representative for Star Trac fitness equipment and does speaking engagements around the country, speaking to students about the importance of health and wellness.

"I challenge young people to use the words 'I can' and 'I will,'" said Kazmaier. "You have to realize the importance of your health. I want to teach kids to be winners, champions, strivers and to avoid bullying."

Kazmaier was himself bullied as a child and had very low self-esteem, reinforced by a father who told him he would never amount to a hill of beans.

When Kazmaier was 10-years-old, he weighed 110 pounds and was able to press his own body weight. The first time he did a deadlift, he lifted 600 pounds. He dropped out of college in 1975 and was feeling like a loser before he gravitated toward lifting, something he had a natural aptitude for. It didn't take long to become the best— by 1977 he was a national champion in powerlifting.

Details: 248-627-4800.

Susan covers Brandon Township and Ortonville
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