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Boston man, 24, competes against bears on Discovery Channel’s ‘Man Vs Bear’

Mike Rosa (center) will compete Wednesday against bears on Discovery Channel.
Mike Rosa (center) will compete Wednesday against bears on Discovery Channel.Discovery Channel

A 24-year-old Boston man tested his strength against grizzly bears in an eating competition, tug-of-war, and other challenges as he competed on Discovery Channel’s “Man Vs Bear” Wednesday night.

Mike Rosa, an avid powerlifter, competed in five challenges against three bears at a sanctuary in Park City, Utah, this summer, Rosa said.

“[The bears] were really strong. They weighed 1,400 pounds,” Rosa said. “One pull was like a force that wouldn’t be reckoned with. No human could stand against a big grizzly bear, and the power is something you really can’t understand unless you experience it.”

Rosa and two other competitors faced off against three bears from the sanctuary: Bart, Tank, and Honey Bump, according to Discovery Channel. Other competitions included log rolling, an obstacle course, and a clash in a steel ball.


“The bears looked like they were having a blast. We were not allowed to approach them up close because of the danger part of it, but they were very well-trained. They waved to us and growled to us,” Rosa said.

Rosa said the show gave him a newfound respect for bears.

“I’ve competed in powerlifting and bodybuilding, but [the show] was completely game-changing. It was more obstacle-based and completely out of my comfort zone. It wasn’t just the physicalness, but it was also a mental game as well with the intimidation factor of the bears,” Rosa said.

Rosa’s goal on the show was to have an “absolute blast.”

“It was a total adrenaline rush. It was insane. It was a complete game-changer of scenery, especially coming from Boston,” Rosa said.