World’s Strongest Man

Mitchell Hooper is the World’s Strongest Man. The annual WSM was held for the first time in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Thirty competitors in five groups toiled in the qualifying events on Wednesday and Thursday with the top two from each group moving on to the finals on Saturday and Sunday. That 10 included four-time WSM (2011, ’13, ’15, ’16) Brian Shaw in his final strongman contest at age 41, two-time and defending champ Tom Stoltman, and 2020 winner Oleksii Novikov.

In the rain on Saturday, the 10 finalists competed in three events: the Reign Shield Carry (carrying a 196 kg. [431 lb.] shield for distance), the Knaack box deadlift (deadlifting a bar with boxes on each side, weighing 353 kg. [778 lbs.] for reps), and Fingal’s Fingers (tipping over five increasingly heavier poles for number and speed). At the end of day one, Canada’s Mitchell Hooper, in only his second World’s Strongest Man (he was eighth last year), held a slim lead over Scotland’s Tom Stoltman.

2023 World's Strongest Man
Mitchell “Moose” Hooper carries the Reign shield a winning 64.8 meters. / World’s Strongest Man

The rain was gone and the sun was out on Sunday for the final three events: the max dumbbell (lifting with one hand, increasingly heavy dumbbells, up to 140 kg. [309 lbs.], the bus pull (pulling a bus 25 meters for speed), and the Atlas stones (lifting and placing on platforms five increasingly heavier stones, up to 210 kg. [463 lbs.] for speed). Hooper extended his lead by winning the first two events and held a commanding 5.5 point advantage over Stoltman going into the final event, Stoltman’s best, the stones. And the Canadian cruised to a victory by nearly matching the two-time champ; both men got all five stones, though Stoltman placed them faster. In the bronze medal spot, former champ Oleksii Novikov finished third in the World’s Strongest Man for the second straight year.

Check out the complete scoring here.

2023 World's Strongest Man
Two-time champ Tom Stoltman finishes second. / World’s Strongest Man

Mitchell Hooper is 27. The Ontario native formerly ran marathons and even competed in a men’s physique contest in 2015 before turning to powerlifting and strongman and transforming his once spindly body. He’s still a relative newcomer to strongman, having made his pro debut a little more than a year ago, but what a year he’s had! The 6’3″ and 320-pound “Moose” won the 2023 Arnold Strongman Classic in March, and he is now the first Canadian to be the World’s Strongest Man. And he’s just getting started.

Afterward, Mitchell Hooper, the new World’s Strongest Man said: “It’s crazy. It’s going to take a long time for this to sink in….Thank you so much to everyone who showed their support. Thank you so much to everyone who supports the sport and to everyone who came before me. Really, really cool and incredibly humbling experience that I’ll have trouble putting into words for awhile.”

2023 worlds strongest man
The new World’s Strongest Man. / World’s Strongest Man


April 19-23, 2023 / Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

1. Mitchell Hooper (Canada) 53.5

2. Tom Stoltman (UK) 49

3. Oleksii Novikov (Ukraine) 41

4. Trey Mitchell (USA) 39.5

5. Evan Singleton (USA) 39.5

6. Pavlo Kordiyaka (Ukraine) 31.5

7. Brian Shaw (USA) 27.5

8. Luke Stoltman (UK) 21.5

9. Matthew Ragg (New Zealand) 18.5

10. Jaco Schoonwinkel (South Africa) withdrew due to injury