On SI Now, host Maggie Gray welcomes 4-time Olympic gold medalist Sanya Richards-Ross, professional strongman Chris Schoeck, CBS Sports Motorsports commentator Rick Benjamin and Sports Illustrated staff writer Chris Chavez.
Chris “Wonder” Schoeck can bend steel bars. Before you check out his documentary, see how this strongman does it, and hear about the moment that changed the life of this native New Yorker.
The documentary ‘Bending Steel,’ now playing on demand, chronicles how Average Joe Chris Schoeck became a real-life Superman. Here, he tells his story.
I began bending steel October of 2009. Was it purely random? Not really. Initially, I thought choosing to bend steel happened by chance. In reality, it was handed to me.
I was first an avid Olympic weightlifter, and it was an oldetime strongman Joe Rolino that awarded me my first weightlifting trophy. At over 100, he was ageless. He still had all of his own teeth, a mind like a steel trap, and a ferocious grip. His powerful grip amazed me because he was not a big man. But despite his age and stature, I learned that he could bend quarters in his teeth. He was a real superhero. Something only read about.[…]
Walking down the street, you wouldn’t give Chris Schoeck much thought — but in an audience, you’d likely have a wholly different reaction.
The 43-year-old, who suffers from social awkwardness and ‘overwhelming fear of failure,’ may have an unassuming presence — but he’s completed countless incredible feats onstage, as a professional strongman-in-training.
Schoeck recently stopped by HuffPost Live to demonstrate his mind-boggling ability and stunned by ripping a pack of cards, bending roofing nails and straightening a horseshoe. Watch his incredible performance in the video above.[…]
How attempting the improbable, and chasing the past, led one man to find a community—and himself.
One gun shot. A single bullet, right between the eyes, from 30 feet away. That was the fate of Joseph “The Mighty Atom” Greenstein, an old-time strongman, who could bend steel rods the way a clown twists up balloons. He could warp galvanized steel, defeat the elements with his bare hands; but he wasn’t a magician, he couldn’t predict the future. The gunman had fallen for his wife and now the strongest man on Earth was on the wrong side of a pistol, powerless.
The Greensteins had left Poland for Galveston, Texas, at the turn of the 20th century. Joseph found work on the docks and in the oil fields. At night, he worked the ring, wrestling under the name Kid Greenstein. He was 5’4″, 140 pounds, too small to stick out in a crowd, but in the ring, under the lights, he was already something of a legend. Undefeatable. Unthinkably strong. He was a ball of muscle, a rock that could not be moved.[…]
Dave Carroll and Ryan Scafuro’s Bending Steel is a documentary character portrait of a man who (you guessed it) bends steel with his bare hands. Chris Schoek is a New York native training to become an Oldetime Strongman, the musclebound freaks of nature who wowed crowds at Coney Island for decades in the early 20th century before falling out of fashion. He’s not the biggest guy (he actually looks a little scrawny at first glance) and he’s incredibly uncomfortable in front of crowds, so his quest to revive the Strongman scene at Coney Island is quite the uphill battle. Dark, moving, inspirational and beautifully shot, Bending Steel is one of the best indie docs of the summer. I spoke with Dave Carroll about his experience making the film and getting to know Chris, who he met serendipitously in his own NY apartment building. Bending Steel is available now on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Instant and at bendingsteelmovie.com[…]
The new documentary ‘Bending Steel’ follows Chris Schoeck, a New York City native possessed by an unwavering determination to become a professional Oldtime Strongman and perform at Coney Island. He joins us live to demonstrate.
The inspiring documentary "Bending Steel" collected festival awards in 2013 and continues to make waves through its surprisingly emotional story of Chris Schoeck, an aspiring Coney Island Strongman who tries to exceed his physical and mental limits by bending steel. The documentary tracks Schoeck's training and internal struggle as he attempts to see through his dream of becoming an Oldtime Strongman.
Watch in the exclusive clip above as Chris explains where he gets his confidence from and seeks a mentor who believes in his ability and conviction.
The documentary is now available on digital VOD.
We have an exclusive clip to share with you from Dave Carroll’s documentary Bending Steel. You may watch it and the trailer below.
Overcome by an unwavering determination to become a professional Oldtime Strongman, Chris Schoeck trains out of his basement to prepare for his first performance at New York’s historic Coney Island. By bending countless bars of steel, he readies himself for this opportunity to finally stand out and make a name for himself. Stacked against his own fears of failure and judgment, Bending Steel examines Schoeck’s captivating journey to exceed the limits of mind and body.
Bending Steel is now available on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Instant Video, and bendingsteelmovie.com.
When you think of the classic strongman, images come to mind of barrel-chested behemoths manhandling objects that would give the average person a hernia just by looking at it. Chris Schoeck isn’t that tall (5’7″) nor is he particularly muscular (he cuts a lean 155 lbs.) but he’s perfected a skill that’s given him far more than bragging rights.
Director Dave Carroll’s surprisingly touching documentary Bending Steel homes in on Schoeck taking his hobby of bending steel beams, rods, and wrenches from the secret sanctity of his basement to center stage in front of a crowd at New York City’s Coney Island. In the film, Schoeck isn’t braggadocio about his remarkable feats—quite the contrary, he’s locked inside a loneliness of his own design. It was as if he only participated in life when it was necessary.[…]