A CHANGING OF THE GUARD took place in the world of strongman this week, as a new champion was crowned as the World’s Strongest Man and one of the greatest ever to compete in the strength sport took part in his final competition. The event took place in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina from April 19 to 23.
Canadian athlete Mitchell Hooper claimed the 2023 title in just his second WSM appearance, dominating in his qualifying group and the final round of competition by winning three of the six events outright (Shield Carry, Deadlift, Bus Pull) and tying for the top spot in another (Max Dumbbell Press). He was outside the top two in just one event (Fingal’s Fingers). Hooper totaled 53.5 points for the victory. This was a massive jump from last year, when Hooper finished outside the podium in eighth place in his debut.
“The thing I love the most about strongman is the incredible community,” Hooper said following his win. “We support each other and I think you can see that in spades when we are out here competing against one another. That is true at the local level, the pro level and world level. We are not short on people to be inspired by in the strongman world. I feel very lucky to be part of it and hope to grow that as much as I possibly can.”
Tom Stoltman, the two-time defending defending champion, finished just behind Hooper with 49 points. Stoltman won the other two finals events (Fingal’s Fingers and Atlas Stones). Oleksii Novikov, the 2020 winner, rounded out the top three with 41 points.
Brian Shaw, the four-time winner taking part in his 16th WSM competition, called it a career after a seventh place finish. Shaw finished second in his qualifying group to make the finals, a massive effort in his final showing after battling an infection during his pre-competition prep. He retires with the second-most wins in WSM history, and widely considered among the best strongman athletes ever.
The 2023 World’s Strongest Man competition is over, but you’ll still have an opportunity to catch the action on TV. Coverage from the event will air on CBS and CBS Sports Network later this May.
Brett Williams, a fitness editor at Men’s Health, is a NASM-CPT certified trainer and former pro football player and tech reporter who splits his workout time between strength and conditioning training, martial arts, and running. You can find his work elsewhere at Mashable, Thrillist, and other outlets.
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