Paul Anderson, Toccoa to be featured on The History Channel, tonight
Toccoa-Stephens County residents will want to watch The History Channel later today to see the episode of “The Strongest Man in History,” that was recorded here in Toccoa earlier this year.
Parts of the episode were filmed at the Paul Anderson Memorial Park in Toccoa, and the episode’s main focus will be Paul Anderson’s world records.
In January, four weight lifters came to the park and attempted to beat Anderson’s weight lifting record.
At the time of filming, Donald Meyerson, one of the producers told WNEG News the show is like MythBusters for Strong Men.
Meyerson said the strong men wanted to come to Toccoa because of Anderson’s legendary strength.
“We’re here because of Paul Anderson and what he’s done for the town and what he’s done for Georgia,” he said. “He’s been a tremendous icon for the strong man industry and all these guys wanted to come to Toccoa. It’s part of their pilgrimage or their mecca to becoming a strong man.”
Anderson’s daughter Paula Anderson Schaefer attended the filming.
She said the four strong men were trying to emulate her dad’s weightlifting feat.
“What they’re emulating is my dad’s lifting in Gorki Park in Moscow, Russia,” she said. “In 1955 he was part of one of the first teams that went behind the Iron Curtain and represented the United States. When my dad did this lift in Gorki Park he broke the existing record by 22 pounds.”
The four men lifted 405 pounds, slightly more than Anderson’s 402-pound record in 1955, but his daughter said they didn’t exactly beat her dad.
“Now my Dad’s lift was a little more difficult. He brought the weight from the ground. These guys started with the weight up on the bar, but they’re not Olympic lifters. So, to do that movement you have to do to pull it off the floor, is something that they just don’t practice. So, my Daddy’s lift was a little more difficult.”
After the group finished filming in Toccoa, they traveled to Vidalia to visit the Paul Anderson Youth Home.
The episode will premier today, July 10, at 10 p.m. on The History Channel.