Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Cyr was born in St. Cyprien de Napierville in Quebec, Canada. Cyr entered his first strongman competition at the age of seventeen against the reigning Canadian strongman, Michaud of Quebec City. In this competition he lifted a granite boulder reported to have weighed over 400 pounds. Cyr never backed down from a challenge and was undefeated in Canada and abroad. His fame was earned before accurate records were kept and before weight lifting was included among Olympic events.
While several of Cyr's feats of strength have been exaggerated over the years, some were documented and remain impressive. These included lifting a platform on his back holding 18 men, lifting a 500-pound weight with his finger and pushing a freight car up an incline. Perhaps his greatest feat occurred in 1895, when he was reported to have lifted 4,337 pounds on his back. One of Cyr's most-talked about stunts occurred on 12 October 1891, in Montreal. On that occasion he restrained four horses—two pulling in each direction.
A district of Montreal is named Louis-Cyr in his honour; it is located in Saint-Henri, the area he patrolled as a police officer. Both the Parc Louis-Cyr and the Place des Hommes-Forts are named in his honour, the latter being decorated with a statue to him.
- Weider, B. 1976. The Strongest Man in History: Louis Cyr
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