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First annual Clash of the Heroes strongman competition in Waco

Veterans, firefighters and police officers competed in the Clash of the Heroes Strongman Competition on Sept. 11 at the Waco Convention Center.

WACO, Texas — Today, in honor of the events of 9/11, veterans, firefighters and police officers were able to show their strengths both in their line of duty and with the weights. 

These athletes competed in the HOT Strength and Fitness Expo first annual Clash of the Heroes Strongman Competition at the Waco Convention Center. 

"I know for me watching it as a sixth grade kid, I knew that someday I was going to be in the military," Zak Kirk, a Strongman athlete, said. "I saw it and it was weird it kind of just stayed with me and resonated. That's something I'll always remember and something I'll always hold in my heart. Somebody hurt our home and we have to go protect it."

Anthony Fuhrman, the owner of the Clash of the Coast Strongman Series, used to compete in different strength events. He decided it was time to step on the other side of things and create something bigger.

"Transitioning and living life after that can be very stressful. Anxiety, depression, all types of things," Fuhrman said. "When you get involved with your body and the community, it helps heal that from the inside out."

Grouping up in teams of two, athletes were able to remember the feeling of being part of a team as they went into battle.

"I miss the comradery of the Army and I've been out since 2016," Adam Martin, another Strongman athlete, said. "The only other place I've ever found that is in the Strongman community, so it means a lot to be able to go back and have fun and enjoy the time with my brothers."

This Strongman competition is more than just lifting weights and dumbbells. These athletes are competing for a bigger purpose. 

"We all have a reason we want to help people and protect people. This is just kind of getting to honor the ones who aren't here today," Kirk said. "It's a time to remember the ones who gave their lives for our freedom and to our country to allow us to do this stuff today."

Through sandbag tosses, log presses and endless pounds of weight, these athletes apply their strength in many different ways.

Adam Martin and Chris Rios were paired with each other at the very beginning of the event, having never met before.

This duo brought all the energy to the floor.

"We're gonna go out and dominate these last two events. We're doing a really good job," Strongman teammates, Adam Martin and Chris Rios, said. "Our unlikely pairing is awesome right now."

Dominate is exactly what they did, taking the 2nd place spot to close out the event.

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