The Father of Strength: Louis Cyr

While I was reading Anthony Ditilllo’s 70s strength manual, he referenced several of the old school strongmen. One I was not very familiar with was Canadian Louis Cyr. So, I thought his name into my to-do list and this weekend finally circled back around to looking him up. There is a movie based on him, but I couldn’t find it on any current streaming services.

Instead, I wound up watching a Canadian TV biography show on Cyr, billed as the strongest man in the world at the turn of the 19th/20th century. There were some incredible claims by Cyr and his followers, with enough legitimacy that Ben Weider called him the strongest man ever and Eugene Sandow, who the Mr. Olympia trophy is modeled after, routinely ducked his challenges.

At 5 feet, 8.5 inches and 365 pounds, Cyr was one of the original members of the Beef Boys club.

The episode is 45 minutes and long and was a nice look at the early days on showman strongman, an industry largely created by Cyr. Cyr’s career spanned the pre-video days, so this show is mostly people talking about Cyr, photos and newspaper articles scans. Still, cool.

Up next in my trip down early Strongman: Paul Anderson.


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