Legendary Strongman Brian Shaw Has Officially Retired

Brian Shaw has retired from the world of professional strength sports. The legendary strongman, who won the title of World’s Strongest Man no fewer than four times (in 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2016) and made the podium a total of 10, previously announced that this year’s contest would be his last.

Shaw battled a nasty leg infection in the lead-up to the 2023 contest, even being hospitalized at one point. However, he recovered and rallied well enough to eventually still be able to compete for the 16th time, making “one more big push” for a fifth win, and eventually finishing seventh at the 2023 World’s Strongest Man competition. He is leaving the sport with the second-highest number of World’s Strongest Man wins in the history of the event.

“It’s been a heck of a ride and I’m so thankful for everyone who has been a part of it,” Shaw said in a statement following the event. “So many people have helped me out. This competition, my family…I’ve got my boys and my wife right over there. I’m a very lucky man and I’m grateful for all of it. I’ve been very lucky to perform on this platform but hope that I’ve also inspired some in different ways to go out and be great. That’s what it’s all about to me. It’s what I’ve always tried to do and tried to share, and it’s been fun.”

brian shaw

Brian Shaw

In addition to his multiple titles at WSM, Shaw’s strongman career spans nearly 20 years and pretty much every major strongman competition including wins at the Arnold Classic, America’s Strongest Man, and the Rogue Invitational.

The final competition of Shaw’s career will be the 2023 Shaw Classic in August, the event that he founded. “I only feel like it is fitting for me to do my final strongman competition at the Shaw Classic, at the event that I created, to give back to this sport,” he said in March.

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Philip Ellis is a freelance writer and journalist from the United Kingdom covering pop culture, relationships and LGBTQ+ issues. His work has appeared in GQ, Teen Vogue, Man Repeller and MTV.

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