The 39 Clues


Strong Contender Disqualified From Competition

August 18 2008

BUNBURY—Yesterday was the second day of the World’s Strongest Man Competition, and Eisenhower Holt, a former United States Military Academy cadet, was well on his way towards proving his physical superiority until his unexpected disqualification.

He was several points ahead, having dominated in the Keg Toss, Car Carry, and Redwood Felling competitions. But it was during the Fire Truck Pull that his bulging muscles gave out under the pressure of a weak mind.

When questioned by reporters after, he claimed he misunderstood the rule requiring rubber soles on all footwear. Holt wore spiked climbing boots usually saved for scaling walls in the pregame warm-up. ‘There was rubber UNDER the spikes,’ Holt later argued. Against his and his family’s objections that his was an easy mistake to make, the credentials committee instantly kicked him out of the competition.

‘I trusted him to prepare alone this morning,’ Mary-Todd Holt, his wife and trainer, remarked afterwards. ‘It’s clear that was our big mistake. We’re very sad he won’t have the opportunity to prove himself. He WOULD have won.’

Mr. Holt has a history of flub-ups, it seems. An Olympic hopeful in 1999, he was disqualified from the competition because he was arguing with a Czech weight lifter (rumored to have been an ex-KGB operative) over first access to some barbells during the time period in which he was supposed to show off his skills to the Olympic talent scouts.

But his oldest son, Hamilton, had a different story. ‘It doesn’t really surprise me,’ he quipped. ‘People are always out to get our family, because they know if THEY don’t cheat, WE’LL always win.’

The final round of the competition is in two days, but Mr. Holt has been asked to leave the competition grounds immediately. Whether anyone can remove him is another question.