Lifter Division Age Bodyweight (lbs) Weight Lifted (lbs)
Julie Havelka Open Women 26 176 111
Jo Walker Open Women 58 131 76
John Anthony Ltwt Men 26 210 141
Rob Denney Ltwt Men 30 206 147
Dean Anderson Hwt Men 39 291 136
Mike Barney Hwt Men 34 225 147
Tod Becraft Hwt Men 38 249 166
Joaquin Diaz DeLeon Hwt Men 27 400 106
Vince Eldridge Hwt Men 36 400 171
Brice Gimbel Hwt Men 22 287 186
Chris Jensen Hwt Men 30 285 151
Rick McClung Hwt Men 36 330 151
Preston Nelson Hwt Men 33 220 166
Dave Olsen Hwt Men 40 226 126
Shawn Roth Hwt Men 30 227 106
Tim Stashin Hwt Men 33 268 171
Ron Uhl Hwt Men 40 291 181
Craig Corbin Master Men 52 242 126
Tom Feeney Master Men 61 240 106
Myron Nelson Master Men 61 299 146

The Rolling Thunder revolving deadlift handle is a good way to test your grip strength. The bar is 2 3/8" in diameter compared to the standard 1" diameter weight bar. Like its title implies, it rolls when grasped, forcing the lifter into a test of true grip strength. The lifter grabs the handle with one hand and proceeds to stand up and lock out the weight, like a one-handed deadlift.

The Rolling Thunder World Championships were held in Honolulu, Hawaii for its second year on May 31st, 2001. Several of the world's top strongmen had a go at it, seeing who would win the top prize money of $1000. Czech strongman Jan Bartl won the title for the second year in a row with a lift of 258 lbs. He set the world record in 2000 with a lift of 264 lbs. So as you can see, hitting the 200 lb mark begins to place you in the likes of the world's greatest strongmen, as the starting weight at the world championships is 218 lbs!

The first ever Rolling Thunder Northwest Championships took place on September 15th, 2001. "It's a Beautiful Pizza" in Portland, OR was the chosen site for the contest. Not only does the restaurant offer the best pizza in town, there is a spacious lounge area in the basement of the building, complete with stage and big screen tv. The athletes lifted on the stage for best viewing for the audience, and the big screen was used to play World's Strongest Man Contest tapes afterwards. After everyone had weighed in, the women started with the mandatory 51 lb first attempt. The men's mandatory first attempt was 106 lbs. After the mandatory first attempt, the lifters had four attempts of their choosing. Jo Walker and Julie Havelka started things off for the women. Jo, who is 58, has done a 407 lb deadlift at the age of 57, weighing only 126 lbs. Julie has benchpressed 308 lbs in competition and was this year's winner of the Beauty and Beast Women's Strength Challenge. Jo finished up with 76 lbs, while Julie successfully lifted 111 lbs.

All of the men competing had no problem lifting the mandatory first attempt of 106 lbs. But after the first attempts, things began to get interesting. The weight bar simply went up in weight, usually in 5 lb increments, but the competitors had the choice of going up in 1 and 2 lb jumps as well. The next jump most people took after the 106 lb opener was 126 lbs. Shawn Roth and Tom Feeney stopped after their opening attempts. Shawn has been training for 4 years, and Tom has never competed before, although Tom has spent 16 years as a monster truck driver and owner. Joaquin Diaz Deleon, who has benchpressed 518 lbs and deadlifted 683 lbs as a Jr, came down to try out his grip strength. 126 lbs proved to be too much for the big guy, though, and he had to settle for his opening lift of 106 lbs. Dave Olsen, who has been competing in powerlifting for 20 years, was successful with 126 lbs. Craig Corbin also completed the lift with 126 lbs. Craig has been lifting for less than a year and competed in the master's class at age 52.

Dean Anderson, who has played football for the Oregon Panthers, did well and got 136 lbs on his final lift. The two lightweight guys of the meet were John Anthony and Rob Denney. Both men battled it out for the win. John's final lift was 141 lbs, while Rob finished with 147 lbs. John has benched 363 lbs in the WABDL World Cup, while Rob comes from a bodybuilding background and has competed between 1994-97. Good effort guys! The master's winner, with a lift of 146 lbs, was Myron Nelson, owner of Nelson's Nautilus in Portland, Oregon. Myron has been a national powerlifting champion, competing in the masters over 50 class from 1990-92. Mike Barney ended his day with a 147 lb lift. Mike has been a great training partner to Tod and Julie over the years; a very positive person and helpful in the training. Chris Jensen and Rick McClung finished the day with the lift of 151 lbs. Chris is also known as 'Thunder' from Oregon Championship Wrestling and has played semi-pro football for several different teams. He currently plays for the Multnomah County Buccaneers. Rick came all the way up from Yachats, OR to lift. He is owner of Big Bear's Gym in Newport, OR and promotes APF powerlifting meets in Oregon.

There were still men waiting for the bar to go over 156 lbs. Tod Becraft took 156 lbs on his 3rd attempt, then practically followed himself for a go at 166 lbs. The lift was good, and Tod was happy with the 166. Tod competed in powerlifting for 14 years and now trains for strongman. Thus, he has developed a newfound interest in grip events as well as the strongman events. Tod also trains Julie and Hwt champion Brice in the strongman discipline. Preston Nelson, son of Myron, also finished his day with 166 lbs. Preston attacked the weight with a style all his own. It wouldn't budge and it wouldn't budge and then he gave it one final tug and kept it going to the lockout position. This got the crowd cheering. 171 lbs was the final lift for two men, Vince Eldridge and Tim Stashin. Vince, who drove all the way down from Bremerton, WA to lift, has been competing in powerlifting for 20 years. He has deadlifted 741 lbs in competition. Tim originally came to the meet to watch a friend compete. Well, the friend never showed, so Tim decided to enter himself. Tim has been powerlifting for one year, and has deadlifted 600 lbs in competition.

The Heavyweight title was a battle between Brice Gimbel and Ron Uhl. Ron has been competing in powerlifting for several years, and has also competed in olympic lifting and javelin throwing over the years. Brice has been competing in powerlifting for about 4 years, and has squatted 854 lbs in competition in the 308 lb weight class, as well as obtaining a 2000 lb total at the age of 21. Brice also competes in strongman contests and consistently places in the top two. When the dust settled, however, Brice was the victor with a 186 lb lift, while Ron had to settle for 181 lbs. First place winners for the four divisions were awarded sculptured viking trophies. Runners-up received plaques for their efforts.

The meet was definitely a good time for all. 20 people competed, which was more than expected. The food was great, and people had a chance to visit and watch strongman tapes after the competition. The contest was such a success, that it will most certainly become an annual event. Anyone interested in purchasing a Rolling Thunder handle can do so by logging on to