Dubai: Kids nowadays can do anything if they put their mind to it, according to strongman Larry ‘Wheels’ Williams, who pulled a nine tonne bus 20-metres on Wednesday, in front of the entire school at Gems International in Al Khail.
This assessment came after one of the children watching his feat, 10-year-old Lovro Zorc, said he wouldn’t be able to pull a truck even when he was Larry’s age, “because when Larry was growing up there wasn’t as much technology and he probably played outside a lot more.”
The 24-year-old American originally from New York - who is one of 18 of the world’s strongest touring Dubai schools this week to promote a healthy and active lifestyle ahead of the World’s Ultimate Strongman competition at Meydan on October 25 - disagreed.
“Heat is the only thing holding kids back here,” he said. “Honestly that’s the only thing I can think of, and even for that Dubai has amazing gyms and indoor facilities.
“I’m a big believer of the saying that if there’s a will there’s a way, and if you want it hard enough, you will find a way no matter what the circumstances are.”
An appetite of screen time over physical exertion might even work in the favour of modern kids, said Larry.
“There’s so much free information about strength training on the internet and that’s how I got into it myself, aged 13. I didn’t have any friends, parents or siblings who guided me, I just used to teach myself.
“When I was a child, aged seven I used to look up to superheroes and fictional people as icons like superman and batman, but as I got older I looked at real people like the world’s strongest men and wanted to be more like them.
“I love pushing myself and feeling strong, healthy and athletic,” added Williams, who is 90-kg away from achieving his life-long dream of squatting and deadlifting 500-kg.
The school bus he pulled on Wednesday, with 31 students onboard, wasn’t even the heaviest he’s moved. “I’ve done a 19-tonne bus in the midday heat in a Dubai summer, that was brutal.
Other kids like Lovro, who were impressed with Larry’s strength were Isabella Vitali and Rhea Sethi, both aged 10.
“I wouldn’t be able to do it,” said Isabella. “I have no strength compared to him because he’s one of the top 18 strongest men in the world, and that’s impressive to see.
“This has inspired me to do more sport and get stronger, so that hopefully, when I grow up, I can do something like he does.”
Rhea agreed, “I love sport, but could definitely get even more active after watching this. We would never be able to pull a bus even if it was all us students together. My mind was blown watching his muscles pumping.”