STRONGMEN are able to lift incredible weights and achieve feats we can only dream of.
One of these strongmen is Geoff Capes who became famous in the seventies for his athletics achievements.
Who is strongman Geoff Capes?
Geoffrey Lewis Capes was born on August 23, 1949, in Holbeach, Lincolnshire.
He is the seventh of nine children, with six older half siblings and two younger full siblings.
He grew up in Holbeach and joined the local athletic club where he was coached by Stuart Storey.
Capes was also fascinated with the natural world during his childhood, caring for injured birds and animals.
He worked as a coalman and an agricultural labourer after leaving school, and was able to load an impressive twenty tons of potatoes in twenty minutes.
He signed up for the police force in 1970, where he stayed for ten years.
When did Geoff Capes become the World’s Strongest Man?
Geoff became the World’s Strongest Man in 1983, winning the competition in Christchurch, New Zealand.
He regained the title in 1985 in Cascais, Portugal, after a disappointing third place finish the previous year.
Overall he has had SIX top three finishes in the World’s Strongest Man competitions:
- Third – 1980 Playboy Club, Vernon, New Jersey
- Second – 1981 Playboy Club, Vernon, New Jersey
- First – 1983 Christchurch, New Zealand
- Third – 1984 Mora, Sweden
- First – 1985 Cascais, Portugal
- Second – 1986 Nice, France
Capes was known for his incredible hand and arm strength.
He could easily tear London dictionaries in half and could bend rolled steel bars measuring over one inch in diameter and three feet in length.
What event did Geoff Capes compete for Great Britain in at the Olympics?
Geoff represented England and Great Britain in field athletics specialising in shot put.
He represented his country for 11 years.
He won two Commonwealth Games and two Indoor European Championship titles.
His first major competition was the 1970 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh, finishing fourth.
At the next two games in 1974 and 1978 he took gold.
He became the European Indoor Champion twice in 1974 and 1976, winning in silver in 1975, 1977 and 1979, and bronze in 1978.
He picked up a bronze at the outdoor European Athletics Championships in 1974.
Despite his glittering career, he was unable to bag himself a medal at the Olympics.
His first Olympic experience was in 1972 when he competed in Munich but didn’t pass the qualifying round.
However, four years later he was one of the favourites for the gold medal at the 1976 Montreal Olympics.
He was second in the qualifying group but only placed sixth in the final.
The longest distance of his career came in 1980 when he threw 21.68 metres in Cwmbran, Wales.
It was a new Commonwealth and British record.
He went into the 1980 Moscow Olympics with the new records and was a favourite for gold.
However, he placed fifth with Capes admitting his performance left him “numbed with disappointment.”
Capes is the most capped British male athlete of all time.
He has received 67 international caps and earned 35 wins, not including a further 35 caps for England.
He has won 17 national times, including the AAA championship seven times.
He’s also been the UK champion three times.
He was voted Britain’s best-ever field athlete in 1983.
His 1980 British record still stands.
In 2003, Carl Myerscough threw further but the distance wasn’t ratified.