Strongman event gets new digs, prime fair time slot
After a successful first attempt at a strongman competition at the 2017 Garfield County Fair, Silt resident Greg Orosz is preparing for a second event. The 2018 event will also take place at the fair, this time with an upgraded venue.
Last year’s competition, held in the parking lot, was so popular that board members decided to push the competition into the main arena on Saturday morning. That will give the strongman event a major boost in attention.
“When I went to the board meeting this spring, I was just hoping to get moved from Sunday to Saturday,” Orosz said in a phone interview Tuesday afternoon. “I didn’t care about the parking lot or wherever it was going to be. When they told me I was going to be in the main arena, I was floored. I kind of had to stop for a second and collect myself.”
The event will be held Aug. 4 at 11 a.m., immediately after the fair’s parade. The strongman competition will be held on the dirt floor of the riding arena, so all push and pull events will be removed, according to Orosz. Push and pull events, such as the tire flip and tractor pull, will be replaced by the keg toss and Hercules hold, in which a competitor holds weights out away from the body for as long as he or she can.
The competition is centered on a modern, eclectic strength competition in which competitors display functional strength through exercises such as lifting rocks, toting refrigerators, pulling trains and towing an 18-wheel truck. As a result, interest in the sport has skyrocketed at the grassroots level. Last year, Orosz said he had roughly 30 to 40 people contact him in regards to the competition, but this year, that number has grown exponentially, reaching nearly 200 people.
“I’m astounded at the number of people interested, to be honest,” Orosz said. “I’m off-the-charts excited about this year’s competition. Seeing the amount of interest is the greatest feeling I’ve had so far organizing this thing. …
“I think it has the potential to become something really big, and really instrumental. This valley is constantly athletic; everybody in this valley is active and athletic. This is an opportunity to show people that there’s more than one side to athleticism. There’s more than who can run the fastest, or ride the farthest. There’s an element of power to that, and we want to show it. Long term, I would like to eventually have one of the biggest shows in the country, but that’s a few years down the road.”
Orosz added that he plans to have a competition with the fair each year. But based on the interest surrounding the event, he’d like to add more local competitions throughout the year.
Orosz is also raising money for Brent’s Place in Aurora, which is the only Children’s Hospital Colorado-approved Safe-Clean housing facility for immune-compromised patients and their families. It provides a living environment that is essential to healing and recovery.
Brent’s Place holds a special place in Orosz’s family. A few years ago, Orosz’s young cousin was fighting leukemia. Brent’s Place housed and fed Orosz’s family during his cousin’s nearly 200-day treatment.
Orosz will donate all proceeds from the strongman competition to the Aurora-based organization in hopes of helping other families and patients. Last year’s event raised about $2,100, and Orosz hopes to raise $10,000 this year.
“Even if we don’t hit that goal, we’re still raising money for a great cause,” he said.
Registration for the competition is now open for the strongman competition. Register at garfieldcountyfair.com or email Orosz at email@example.com.