The 2023 World’s Strongest Man (WSM) ran from April 19-23 in Myrtle Beach, SC. While the major headlines leaving the competition were Mitchell Hooper scoring his first WSM title in only his second appearance, two-time WSM Tom Stoltman reaching the podium for the fourth consecutive year, and four-time WSM champion Brian Shaw and Mark Felix closing the curtains on their WSM careers, there were plenty of other notable stats worth discussing.
2023 World’s Strongest Man Stats
Below are brief breakdowns of each of the 15 stats shared by Shahlaei and Mason about the 2023 WSM:
1. Mitchell Hooper Is the First Athlete to Win Four Final Events in Six-Event Format
Hooper was undoubtedly the star of the show throughout the 2023 WSM, winning eight out of a possible 11 events across the Qualifying stage and the Final. He won the first four events in his group to lock up the win before the Kettlebell Toss even occurred. Then he proceeded to win four of the six events in the Final* — conceding only a sixth-place finish in the Fingal’s Fingers and a runner-up finish in the Atlas Stones.
*Note: Hooper was awarded first-place points in the Reign Shield Carry after Pavlo Kordiyaka was penalized 19.8 meters on his otherwise event-winning distance.
2. Three Different Nations Were Represented on the Podium for the 11th Straight Year
Hooper of Canada, Tom Stoltman of the UK, and Oleksii Novikov of Ukraine stood on the podium in the gold, silver, and bronze positions, respectively. It is the 11th consecutive year that three different countries were represented on the WSM podium.
The previous instance of a WSM podium featuring athletes of the same country was in 2012 when champion Žydrūnas Savickas of Lithuania stood next to his countryman Vytautas Lalas as the runner-up.
3. Second Time Two Athletes Tied In a Timed Event
In the Bus Pull on the final day of competition, Tom Stoltman and Evan Singleton tied for second place with a time of 32.27 seconds. While this sent shockwaves through the strongman world regarding the accuracy of scoring timed events manually via stopwatch, two athletes tying in a timed event at WSM isn’t unprecedented. In the Plane Pull at the 2009 WSM, Travis Ortmayer and Brian Shaw tied with a time of 40.53 seconds. Savickas won his first of four WSM titles that year.
4 & 5. Ukraine Posted Two Athletes in the Final | Mathew Ragg Became the First New Zealander in the Final
While Novikov has been a mainstay of WSM Finals with three podiums in his three Final appearances and an overall victory in 2020, Pavlo Kordiyaka made his WSM Final debut in 2023. Kordiyaka’s debut at the WSM was in 2022. He improved significantly in a year’s time to win his group in Qualifying and potentially could have contested for the podium had he avoided the massive penalty in the Reign Shield Carry.
6. Three-Peat Missed For Fifth Consecutive Time
Tom Stoltman was going for the rare three-peat in 2023 with the potential to join an elite club of only two athletes to ever win three consecutive WSM titles: Bill Kazmaier (1980-82) and Magnus ver Magnusson (1994-96). However, Stoltman dropping the title to Hooper put him in the category with Mariusz Pudzianowski (who missed a three-peat twice), Brian Shaw, and Žydrūnas Savickas.
7. U.S.A. in the Final
Since 2017, the U.S.A. has been represented in the WSM Final by three athletes. In 2023, it was Trey Mitchell, Evan Singleton, and Brian Shaw. Shaw’s qualification to the Final in 2023 marked his record 15th consecutive trip to the WSM Final. He only missed the Final once in his career at his debut in 2006.
8. Canada Becomes the 13th Country With a WSM Champion
Hooper became the first Canadian to win the WSM title. Prior to Hooper, Canada had only ever been on the podium on four other occasions. Tom Mcgee scored the silver medal in 1982 and Dominic Filiou landed the bronze two decades later in 2005.
It was another decade and a half until JF Caron reached bronze in 2020. However, Canada has been more consistent since, as Maxime Boudreault matched the bronze in 2021, and two years later, Hooper claimed the crown. The 13 countries that have WSM champions are:
9. Hooper is the Eighth-Youngest Winner of the WSM
Of the 24 champions in WSM history, Hooper is the eighth youngest to win the title at 27 years old. The youngest to ever win the WSM title is Jon Pall Sigmarsson at age 24 and 271 days at the 1984 WSM. The second youngest was Oleksii Novikov in 2020, also at 24.
10. Stone-Off Advantage Sweeps
Every athlete who finished second in their group in the Qualifying stage at the 2023 WSM won their respective Stone-Offs lifting the equivalent number of stones to their respective third-place counterparts. The athlete who finishes second in the group has the advantage of lifting second in the Stone-Off, and the rules state that whoever fails to lift a stone first is eliminated, not the athlete who lifts the fewest stones.
Since this format took effect at the 2021 WSM, only two athletes have ever overcome the disadvantage of lifting first. Both exceptions were at the 2022 WSM when Kevin Faires and Bobby Thompson both lost their respective Stone-Offs despite finishing second overall in their groups.
11. Hooper’s Dominance Continues
Since his international contest debut at the 2022 WSM, where he finished in eighth place overall, Mitchell Hooper has stood on the podium of all nine contests he’s appeared in, including wins at the 2023 Arnold Strongman Classic and the 2023 WSM. Of his 10 professional contests thus far, Hooper has won half of them.
12. Brian Shaw vs. Rauno Heila = Historic Stone-Off
Shaw and Rauno Heinla battled in their Stone-Off for a chance to advance to the WSM Final after Jaco Schoonwinkel won their group. Heinla ultimately lost due to having the disadvantage of lifting first, but both he and Shaw each lifted 11 stones in their Stone-Off, the most at the 2023 contest.
13. Mark Felix Is Ageless
The 2023 WSM contest was the last one for 57-year-old Mark Felix, but with it came the record for the oldest athlete to ever compete on strongman’s grandest stage. The previous record was held by Odd Haugen, who competed at 56. The 2023 WSM was Felix’s 18th appearance in the contest, also a record.
14. Brian Shaw, the Winningest Strongman Ever
While Shaw’s seventh-place finish in 2023 was his worst WSM placing outside of his debut, he added to his record for event wins. After winning the Kettlebell Toss in the Qualifying stage, Shaw extended his record for most WSM event wins to 62. The next closest active strongman is Tom Stoltman, who has 18 event wins. Savickas has the second-most event wins all-time with 54.
15. Shield Carry Predicted the Final Standings?
A unique stat about the 2023 WSM Final is the results of the Reign Shield Carry (when taking into account Kordiyaka’s penalty) were the same standings at the end of the competition. First place through 10th place in the Shield Carry matched first place through 10th place at the end of the competition.
Catch Up on 2023 World’s Strongest Man
- 2023 World’s Strongest Man Day One Results — Mitchell Hooper Hat Tricks
- 2023 World’s Strongest Man Day Two Results — Mark Felix Curtain Calls His Legendary Career
- 2023 World’s Strongest Man Day Three Results — One Point Separates the Top Three
- 2023 World’s Strongest Man Day Four Results — Mitchell Hooper Is the First Canadian to Win World’s Strongest Man
Image courtesy of World’s Strongest Man