Louis Cyr, strongman (b at St-Cyprien-de-Napierville, Canada E 10 Oct 1863; d at St-Jean-de-Matha, Qué 10 Nov 1912). Cyr's family moved to Massachusetts, and as a young man he was a lumberjack in New England before returning to Montréal in 1882 to take a job as a policeman. Though not unusually tall, Cyr weighed as much as 165 kg and was immensely strong. In days when feats of strongmen aroused intense interest, Cyr became a legend. There was no formal sport of weightlifting; competitions were held as challenge matches, and at these he was never defeated. He won the "weight-lifting" championship of North America in 1885 and the "world championship" in 1892. Most of his feats were public demonstrations that drew great crowds, including royalty.
He was fêted in London, England, where on 19 January 1889 he lifted in succession a 250 kg weight with one finger, 1860 kg on his back, and 124 kg above his head with one hand. He proudly returned to Canada with one of the marquis of Queensberry's horses after winning a bet that he could hold 2 driving horses to a standstill, one tied to each of his massive arms. In 1895 in Boston he lifted on his back a platform holding 18 fat men weighing 1967 kg - believed the heaviest weight ever lifted by a man. From 1894 to 1899 he toured with Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey circuses; he later opened a tavern in Montréal. He died of Bright's disease, perhaps brought on by the amount of food he had to eat to fuel his enormous strength.