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Colin Bryce

Date of birth 04/08/1974 Country England
About Colin Bryce

Life

Colin Bryce is the co-owner and founder of the Giants Live: World’s Strongest Man Arena Tour, as well as the commentator of the much-loved World’s Strongest Man TV shows that air each Christmas. What many people may not realise is that prior to his promoting and commentary career, Colin was a Britain’s Strongest Man finalist and a 2002 Winter Olympian in two-man bobsleigh.

Colin was born in Newcastle in 1974, raised in Craigie, Perthshire and for a spell, Pennsylvania. Strongman has always been a big part of Colin’s life. He has participated in almost every facet of the sport; competitor; organiser; promoter; emcee; tv producer; commentator and even referee!

Career

Growing up around his close friend, the late Dr Douglas Edmunds, “The Godfather of Strongman,” Colin worked on the strength shows as a teenager, normally in the role of equipment handler. All the hands on experience soon led to him going int strongman as a competitor.  Colin was a reserve athlete at the 1997 World’s Strongest Man finals in Las Vegas, when he got his first chance to step in after an athlete injury. He has had numerous roles at WSM ever since and i think it is fair to say that there are not many people who have attended more WSM’s than Brycey!

Colin competed extensively in athletics, and in particular in the Scottish Highland Games.  Whilst studying at Glasgow University, in the mid-90s, he entered the British  Universities Powerlifting Championships at Heavyweight and managed to take home the gold. This early success lead to go for the upcoming Scotland’s Strongest Man contest, where Bryce came 2nd to the winner, Jamie Barr. Winning a place at Britain’s Strongest Man in 1999, which he took up. In the  opening Heats  he managed to tie for first place with the eventual winner, Glenn Ross. .  Then, with a couple of solid events,  Bryce finished a credible 7th place ahead of Nottinghamshire’s Graham Mullins, in the Final. As the lightest man in the Final his main asset was no doubt his speed.   However, to live with the modern strongman he realised that his static power wasn’t good enough. With that realisation and a chance phone call from British coaches watching the televised TV show, Bryce got a chance to cross over into Bobsleigh.   Something he began competing at internationally just a few weeks later.  One thing led to another and a few years later, with an Olympic Games to his name, but yet another injury plaguing his career, he got offered a chance to hop into the commentary booth to add colour to the TV broadcast. That gave Colin a chance to get paid for something he really enjoyed doing anyway, and that is talking. Olympic Games fans may well have heard Colin since on both Eurosport and the BBC as he took up roles in both Summer and Winter Games commentating on sports including Bobsleigh, Skeleton, Luge, Athletics, Weightlifting and Wrestling.

It was also after injury in bobsleigh that turned Colin back to his first love, strongman.  In 2003, he came back as the producer and presenter for the  Super Series. A small strongman series that was then based out of Sweden. Which was a good place to be as a major opportunity arose in 2004 when  the World’s Strongest Man event suffered a major  split in the sport. The WSM TV contest had been left with no athletes or referees  going in to the 2005 contest.  Colin’s previous experience working on the show  lead him to offer his  help.  WSM looked close to extinction in 2004  and  it got worse,  as the BBC dropped the series for the time since it started in 1977.  However, it was also a chance for Colin and a host of new athletes to take WSM on a new course. Plus, for the first time, the WSM Qualifying Tour was born. The  Super Series became the WSM Super Series that year.  It remained so until 2008, and with the athletes working to make the arena events work Colin took Strongman to Madison Square Garden. Something that not been attempted by a strongman promoter for over 100 years. That show, in particular, sparked Colin’s belief that Arena contests were the way ahead.  A view his soon to be partner, Darren Sadler, also believed.

In 2009, Colin launched Giants Live as the new WSM Qualifying Tour.   The inaugural date was at the Mohegan Sun Casino and Resort in Connecticut, USA. That first show attracted over 5,500 fans and the contest saw Derek Poundstone of the USA beating his compatriots Travis Ortmayer and Brian Shaw into 2nd and 3rd place.

Another athlete that had been shining at that time was  England’s Darren Sadler. The Yorkshireman had been to 4 x WSM finals as an athlete and was a man that agreed with Colin’s vision. It wasn’t long after the first year of Giants Live had got underway that the two began to hatch ideas of ever bigger and more exciting contests that they believed people would enjoy and with Darren’s background as a succesful entrepreneur it was a perfect partnership to make Giants live what it is today. it is fair to say that the two have helped bring  modern strongman to new heights in the UK, the likes of which have not been seen since the end of the 19th Century.  The Strongman Classic, as Giants Live call the RAH show, has become an annual event which is in honour of Eugene Sandow’s spectacular strongman show called the ‘Great Competition’ from 1903. In 2021, it was a massive night in strength history. 118 years after Eugene, Giants Live brought Strongman home.  What made it perhaps an even better night for strength for strength fans was Iron Biby doing a World Record in the Max Axle. That moment helped  make quite a noise, and when i say quite a noise, i mean it quite literally as the show erupted with noise, a noise so loud it recorded the loudest non-amplified sound that the Hall could remember. It reached a hopping 113 decibels  as the African lifting sensation took down Eddie Hall’s record

Best Title

Colin represented Great Britain at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, in the two-man bobsleigh, as a brakeman. What made this achievement most remarkable, was that just five months prior to the games Colin suffered a potentially career ending dislocation of his left ankle and spiral fracture of his fibula.

Competition Results

  • 1999 Britain’s Strongest Man Final: 7th
  • 1999 Britain’s Strongest Man Heat: 1st equal with Glenn Ross
  • 1997 & 1999 World’s Strongest Man reserve (competed on both occasions)
  • Competed at European & World Championships as well as Olympic Games in Bobsleigh (2001-2004)
  • 2002 & 2003 Ashbourne English Highland Games Champion
  • 1996 British Universities Powerlifting Champion
  • Multiple Scottish University & Scottish Schoolboy titles in hammer, discus and shot put
  • 1995 Scottish Back-Hold Wrestling Championships, 2nd Place

Personal Best Lifts

Competition Lifts

74.35m Húsafell Stone Carry at the 1999 Britain’s Strongest Man Finals. This carry caused slight controversy as at the time it was thought to be a world record, although the competitors were allowed to lift the stone from a plinth, rather than the floor.

As a 21-year-old, Colin became the youngest man ever to successfully lift all five of the McGlashen Stones, a feat he accomplished at the Callendar World Highland Games. His record was short-lived however, as his good friend Gregor Edmunds, at just 19, was to repeat Colin’s achievement.

Training Lifts

  • Deadlift 280kg
  • Bench 177.5kg
  • Squat 300kg

Retirement

Colin has still to retire from competition and competes annually at the Harpendon Highland Games. His last bobsleigh contest was at the 2004 World Championships in Königssee, Germany. He has recently developed a passion for tennis which he enjoys playing with his wife and two children.

Present Day

With Giants Live still expanding its arena tour and new venues appearing on the calendar, Colin is busier than ever promoting contests, commentating and emceeing. On 9th July 2022, Giants Live will return to The Royal Albert Hall, nearly 120 years since the Grand Competition of 1903, featuring strength legend, Eugene Sandow. A little-known fact is that Colin brought strongman back to Madison Square Garden exactly 100 years since the previous contest, in 1908.

In the media

Colin has made numerous TV appearances in recent years, including TV appearances on ITV’s Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway, BBC’s Superstars, CBBC’s Airmageddon and Channel 5’s World’s Strongest Man.

His commentary work includes World Cup Tour Bobsleigh, Luge and Skeleton for Eurosport as well as BBC’s summer and winter Olympic coverage.

Colin also appeared in the 2015 Netflix documentary hit, Eddie – Strongman.

He continues in his role as Tournament Director of World’s Strongest Man and will host and commentate the World’s Strongest Man TV shows on Channel 5.

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