T Nation

Rauno Heinla and WSM

Can someone explain to me why Rauno Heinla keeps not getting invited to wsm? When it comes up, it’s just shrugged off as “Rauno has a history with wsm”. It’s not due to visa issues ot lack or performance in other shows, we know that much.

Has he won anything in the last couple years? It seems like he’s kind of just become a deadlift specialist at this point, I don’t think he’s won or even placed well in major shows recently.

I was about to say he did really well at the Shaw Classic, but then I remembered I was think of JF Caron

1 Like

Everywhere I look (most recently Loz’youtube video) they just mention he has “a history” with the wsm organizers. No specifics but it seems to be a political decision.

Not sure about winning but everywhere he does get invited he performs well. Which isn’t Giants Live, which in turn is the only qualifying round. Giants ljve shows are invitationals

I mean I know what the narrative around him has been. But more than anything else, even with all the politics around strongman sometimes, skins on the wall carry the most weight, and as far as I know, Heinla hasn’t done much in the way of competing at the highest level in the last 2-3 years. There are sooooo many quality competitors out there, a big deadlift just isn’t enough to get you into WSM.

If you look at this year’s line up, politics seems to be the biggest contributor.

Care to share? I would really like to know.

Well, the popular narrative is that he is a top tier strongman competitor who is getting screwed out of shows strictly because of politics. Allegedly, he’s a pain in the ass to work with and he complains a lot. But in my opinion, he’s just an overhyped dude with a big deadlift. Big deadlifters are consistently fan favorites these days.

The last big show he won was the Arnold Australia in 2018. His only top 3 finishes in ANY Arnolds have been that one, and he has a first and a third in the Arnold Brazil. That’s it.

So he doesn’t do Giants Live, his accomplishments at the Arnold satellite events are marginal and not recent, He has no track record at WSM… He’s just won Estonia’s strongest man a bunch.

That’s why he’s not getting invites to WSM. He’s not earning it. The Arnold circuit would be his best path to get momentum towards a WSM invite. If he starts finishing well at Arnold events, he can probably get himself into WSM.

1 Like

I’m not a fan of his and have no problem believing that he’s difficult to work with. Your explanation makes sense. I still don’t get why athletes like Oberst get invited again and again for example. He’s not won anything in a long time to my knowledge and is just known as a character and a log lifter. Or more recently Travis Ortmayer. He’s a legend for many but has no business being at wsm.
The whole thing just seems very random and biased, even if you’re decently informed about the sport.

Oberst did not deserve to be there based on competition, he’s a fucking joke. He got there based on social media and a tv show. But that being said, that’s more than Heinla had to offer, and honestly, I think it was the right decision. People know who he is, and strongman does need name recognition.

Ortmayer is interesting… He has a TON of skins on the wall, faaar more than Oberst or Heinla. And his current numbers are actually looking competitive. For me, he’s so borderline just on current merit, that coupled with his history, I’m fine with the invite. I just watched him do a stone series up to 440, beltless, and he made it look easy. That’s world-class level. He’s also competing regularly now. Overhead pressing is obscenely weak for him, like weak enough that I know guys under 200 lbs that can press what he can on a log. It’s bad. But other than that, he’s at least in the vicinity of good enough… lol.

But the point is fair, those guys are questionable at best. The general answer to ‘why did those guys get there and Heinla can’t’, is definitely their names.

All fair points.
I personally dislike Ortmayer because of his political views but that’s personal bias.

Very true. To move away from Heinla we could make the same arguments about a couple strong Iranian guys or Ervin Toots and surely a bunch of others that are skipping my memory currently.

That’s a helluva reason to dislike someone. I cannot say I am intimately familiar with his political beliefs, nor does it matter to me if he is liberal, conservative, socialist, communist, libertarian or anything else. All I care about is: does he (insert anyone’s name here, not just Ortmayer) seem like a good person (aka, what is the content of his character).

This is a huge problem today that people choose to like or dislike people based on political belief, or any other number of things with which we disagree.


Well “like” or “dislike” in the sense that one likes or dislikes any celebrity they haven’t met and formed an opinion about based on what said celebrity puts out about himself/ his work/ press reports.

Political disagreements can absolutely be a legit reason to make me not want to follow someone anymore or not want to hang out with him or think differently about him, which is what I mean in this instance (well just the not following part). It doesn’t mean I hate him or wish bad things would happen to him.

I strongly disagreed with some things he put out, I disliked seeing it a number of times on my Instagram and I stopped following. So you are right, dislike is a strong word in this instance.
I do have people in my personal life that disagree with me on political issues and I still like them or even am friends with them. Although that has a limit for me. Certain things I can not see someone agree with and still be friends with him/her.

Maybe I misinterpreted your intent but based on these two posts it looked to me like you didn’t believe he belonged at WSM simply because you do not agree with his political views.

Based on this comment here, I completely agree and is largely why I decided to leave instagram, which is the only social media I have/had and I only had it for less than 2 years. It’s all filth.

However, I enjoy speaking with people that have different view points from mine because it allows me to check my own biases, which is something everyone needs. To me, it only becomes a problem when the person that you disagree with becomes disrespectful or just doesn’t respect the fact that you have a different opinion. Which there are SEVERAL of those in the strongman community, unfortunately. I could list several names, but I’ll keep the slander to myself

Oh no, that was not what I meant at all! I maybe shouldn’t have put my personal opinion about him in the same statement. He didn’t say or do anything to my knowledge that should get him banned from competition!
He is a phenomenal strongman with a ton of notches on his belt. I still don’t think he deserves to be at wsm but that is strictly because he hasn’t properly earned an invite and has nothing to do with my opinion about him as a person.

Absolutely agree. Although again, there are some limitations on topics I am willing to disagree on at least when it comes to people close to me. I really mean fundamental moral compass stuff.

1 Like