The hours for accessing the Dow and Devos fieldhouse this week have been changed from 1 to 11 p.m. to 3 to 8 p.m. This is in order to accommodate and allow practice for multiple teams of European athletes arriving for a weightlifting challenge: “The World’s Great Hunkfest.” The competition features men-of-might lifting weights, reading poetry and posing in excessively frequent intervals. The competition, which will stem from Friday, November 2nd until Sunday, November 4th, will offer free admission.
The World’s Great Hunkfest consists of six main events, falling under the categories of: Put in Work, I’m No Jerk and Take Off Shirt. Each involves two separate challenges meant to prove the worth of the contestant. In the category “Put in Work”, the first task is two lift an enormous steel table and perform squats with it as judges add weight after weight to increase the difficulty. The more righteous the squats performed, the greater the end score. In the second task, each contestant must lug 50 gallon containers of alcohol from their homeland up and down stairs to their beloved fans below (contestants over 21 willing to be cheerleaders are encouraged to sign up online.) Next comes the “I’m No Jerk” category. This event, originally crafted by Italian muscleman Matteo “Softside” De Luca, intends to break the stereotype surrounding muscular individuals as being aloof or unapproachable.
Each contestant is invited to share poetry crafted over the previous twelve months that shows off their deepest emotions, as well as commentary over the gravity of life’s mysteries. French bodybuilders are automatically handicapped five points due to the natural attractiveness and emotion of their language. While this category is especially difficult to judge, the next category is even more so: opera on treadmill. Atop a stage comprised of several treadmills, each at different speeds and inclines, each contestant gives a 10 minute classical opera performance meant to demonstrate the value of their culture. Tears are expected.
Finally, the most anticipated of the categories is “Take Off Shirt.” Spectators watch and give scores as each contestant frees themselves from ten shirts in succession. The catch? The participants are not allowed to use their hands. Instead, they must flex and relax their polished pecs repeatedly to tear apart each layer. This leads directly into a traditional judging on their newlyrevealed physique. Like with the Pull, EMT’s are on site; however, this is to revive fainted spectators for whom this final performance becomes too much for. The Anchor caught up with several of the teams and discussed strategy and preparation work. “Greek Fire” brothers Antony and Alexander said the members cherish the opportunity each year to show off their hard work. There have been accusations which plagued last year’s competition, however.
Not of doping, but of identity theft: The three-member team “Swole Bros,” who claimed to be British, were accused of simply being American tourists who hopped on the wrong plane home and played along.
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