Tom Stoltman – Scotland – World’s Strongest Man 2021
Gabriel Rheaume – Canada – Canada’s Strongest Man 2021
Mitchell Hooper – Canada – World Tour Champion 2022
Brian Shaw – USA – 4x World’s Strongest Man (2011, 2013, 2015, 2016)
Oleksii Novikov – Ukraine – World’s Strongest Man 2020
Trey Mitchell III – USA – Shaw Classic Champion 2021
Martins Licis – USA – World’s Strongest Man 2019
Maxime Boudreault – Canada – 3rd at WSM 2021
Luke Stoltman – Scotland – Europe’s Strongest Man 2021
Eythor Ingolfsson Melsted – Iceland – 10th at World’s Strongest Man 2021
What an INCREDIBLE line up. Just insane! We have 4 men who have been the World’s Strongest Man, including the defending champion. Then we have 4 men who were in the final last year. And the two newcomers? Hooper was dominant in his heat, and Rheaume was impressive as he won the stone off in the disadvantaged place.
Deadlift for Reps
Mostly typical events, though the Flintstone Lift is a much different take on an overhead event that almost nobody will have actually done before in a competition. Power Stairs isn’t an event we have seen much of at the WSM but it has been a part of Giants Live events in the last couple of years so most of the athletes will have likely done it before. I will say, the majority of the events seem to suit the taller man, with Giants Medley, Bus Pull, Power Stairs and Atlas Stones all being much easier (typically) for those larger athletes. And given that height these days doesn’t really come into play much for deadlift and overhead (compared to even 10 years ago), I’d say the final is very suited to a couple of individuals in particular…
The defending champion is looking even better than he did last year, which is bad news for everyone else. Combined with the fact most of the events are well suited to him, it’ll be hard for anyone to topple the massive Scot. Nobody has defended their title since Brian Shaw in 2016, but I believe that may finally come to an end this year.
The champion from 2019 was unable to defend his title due to injury, and is only now making his return to the world stage. He has a lot to prove, and so far he’s looked on top form. He has already beaten Tom at last year’s Rogue Invitational, so he knows he can do it. Tom might be better suited overall to the events in the final, but Licis doesn’t really have any weaknesses either. Its going to be a fantastic battle for first place between these two imo!
Another former champion, this time from 2020, who didn’t defend his title either. Unlike Licis though, Novikov did show up last year in the heats, but didn’t make it to the final in what was definitely a shocker. He came back strong though, winning Europe’s Strongest Man and then winning his heat this year. He too has beaten Tom before, as he did it in 2020 when he won the title. All the events should be pretty good for him as well, BUT I see him more as a 3rd place finisher this year when compared to Tom and Martins.
The young Canadian has shown up and impressed everyone with how good and dominant he can be. He won the World Tour championship this year, while finishing 2nd at two other Giants Live shows as well. Then he came into the heats and BEAT BRIAN SHAW to win his heat, ending a massive 12 year streak for the big American. Unsure exactly how good he will be at all of the events, as I still haven’t seen THAT much of him, but I’d be shocked if he didn’t finish in a top 4 position. He might be the least likely winner from these four men, but he certainly has it in him!
And those are my top 4 for 2022. All of them could very well take home the title of World’s Strongest Man, and I fully expect them to be the top 4 athletes overall when its over and done with. So, just one thing to do. Decide on which of these four WILL take home the win…
BIG CAL’S OFFICIAL WORLD’S STRONGEST MAN 2022 PREDICTION
Yup, I’m going with the defending champ! He looked incredible in the heat, and the final events suit him better than probably anyone else.