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Chard man's test of strength
A CHARD man who has cerebral palsy will be pushing his body to the limit when he takes part in a strongman competition in Iceland later this month.
Gary Clarke, who makes light work of a truck pull, has been power lifting for 15 years and has entered the World’s Strongest Disabled Man competition twice before in 2011 and 2012.
The programme of six events in Reykjavik tests strength, grip, balance and stamina and includes challenges such as the Hercules Hold – where participants must hold on to two cables with 100kg weights on each end for as long as possible.
Last year Gary, who trains at Ilminster Fitness on Canal Way, managed four personal bests and landed fourth place in the world.
Gary, 36, is now hoping to build on his previous successes at this year’s event on October 18 and 19.
He said: “I’m determined to go out to Reykjavik and give it my all. As long as I beat my records from last year I will be pleased – all you can do is do the best for yourself and that’s what I’ll do.”
Gary, who uses crutches and experiences difficulties with his balance due to his condition, added: “The competition is fantastic, it is like a dream come true. I have always wanted to do strong man. People put limits on themselves and it’s about discovering how far you can push them and improving every time.
“Disability is just a state of mind – I choose not to let it hold me back and events like this prove you can achieve the things you want to, regardless of any disability.”
Gary is being sponsored by Wetroom specialists Impey Showers.
The Somerset-based firm has pledged £500 to go towards his expenses.
Neil Whitehead, at Impey Showers, said: “We’re delighted to be supporting Gary as he competes in the World’s Strongest Disabled Man and wish him good luck with the competition.”
Keep reading the News to find out how Gary gets on.
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