Update: Oleksii Novikov and Robert Oberst Out of 2021 Shaw Classic

This stacked lineup features 16 competitors and the show boasts a much larger purse.

Four-time World’s Strongest Man Brian Shaw announced that the 2021 Shaw Classic would be held in October 2021 in Estes Park, CO. On Feb. 2, 2021, Shaw released another YouTube video, this time to announce the list of competitors taking part in the 2021 Shaw Classic that he promises to be bigger and better. Since that initial announcement, a few more changes and new developments have been revealed as of August 23, 2021. Here’s a quick summary:

  • Oleksii Novikov and Robert Oberst have withdrawn from the contest according to an Instagram post from Brian Shaw on the Shaw Classic account. They will both be replaced by Gabriel Peña and 2021 Canada’s Strongest Man winner, Gabriel Rhéaume. Oberst suffered an undisclosed shoulder injury and Novikov received a concussion at the 2021 Strongman Classic, which he won. 
  • On July 9, 2021, it was announced that Luke Richardson, Tom Stoltman, and Luke Stoltman are out of the contest. Richardson suffered a biceps injury at the 2021 World’s Strongest Man competition, and the Stoltman brothers have their sister’s wedding to attend that same weekend. Shaw did say that if the Stoltmans can make it for any reason, their invites stand.
  • The prize pool is also increasing from $50,000, though Shaw did not specify by how much. (Shaw also reiterated that, like last year, he will not be accepting any prize money so the other athletes take home more.)
  • There will be a trip giveaway. One winner and their plus-one will be flown out to watch the Shaw Classic in person. Their flight, hotel, and food will be covered. The winner also gains access to the athlete meet and greet the night before the competition. Sign up for the Shaw Elite Club and enter on the website. 
  • There are now two ways to watch the Shaw Classic: You can sign up for the Shaw Elite Club (and then cancel after a month) or purchase a “one-time view option,” which will be more expensive than signing up for the SEC. 

You can check out the complete roster below.

2021 Shaw Classic Roster

The new additions to the Shaw Classic roster are bolded below. Note: Mateusz Kieliszkowski was originally listed as a competitor but then left out of Shaw’s most recent lineup. It’s not clear whether Kieliszkowski will still be competing or not. 

  1. Brian Shaw
  2. JF Caron
  3. Gabriel Rhéaume
  4. Trey Mitchell
  5. Jerry Pritchett
  6. Adam Bishop
  7. Žydrūnas Savickas
  8. Gabriel Peña
  9. Evan Singleton
  10. Graham Hicks
  11. Kevin Faires
  12. Aivars Smaukstelis
  13. Maxime Boudreault
  14. Konstantine Janashia
  15. Bobby Thompson
  16. Mikhail Shivlyakov 

Check out Shaw’s Roster update below:

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Before he shared the list of athletes, Shaw announced a greater prize purse for this year’s contest. He also hints that there may be more to come.

“This year, I’m putting up $50,000 (USD) to start the prize pool for the athletes,” Shaw said in the video. “My goal is to start with that $50,000 and increase it. We have a lot of plans to do that, and I’m very excited about that.”

Furthermore, Shaw has increased the number of athletes participating from 10 to 16. So within the first few weeks of his planning for this contest, he has offered a bigger venue, more prize money, and more athletes. He also teased another upcoming video, where he will detail an increase in the number of events.

2021 Shaw Classic Roster

The first iteration of Shaw’s namesake show was a big success. It was well-received by fans and competitors, and Shaw was praised for his athlete-first production. For example, Shaw put in $25,000 of his own money into the 2020 Shaw Classic prize pool and, even though he won, refused to accept any of the winnings. 

It should be noted that this is the second time Martins Licis, the 2019 World’s Strongest Man winner, was invited to the event but has not responded. 

Brian Shaw

Yes, the promoter and reigning Shaw Classic champion will be in this year’s lineup. Like last year, Shaw says that he will not accept any prize money for wherever he places.

JF Caron

Caron is coming off a third-place finish at the 2020 World’s Strongest Man and was the runner-up at the 2020 Shaw Classic. In the latter contest, he performed a 545 kilogram (1,202 pounds) Hummer Tire Deadlift, which is believed to be a world record.

Gabriel Peña

Peña made his WSM debut in 2020. He was forced to withdraw in the Group phase due to heart issues. Since then, he’s added serious strength and competed as recently as August 2021, in the Giants Live World Open. He has pulled 1,000 pounds from the floor. 

Trey Mitchell III

Mitchell was a last-minute invitee to the 2020 Shaw Classic, but he managed to place fourth in that contest.

Jerry Pritchett

Jerry Pritchett finished in fourth place at the 2020 WSM contest, which was his highest placing in his career at that contest. He was fifth at Shaw’s 2020 contest.

Adam Bishop

Bishop won Britain’s Strongest Man contest in 2020. He also placed sixth in both the WSM and the Shaw Classic last year.

Žydrūnas Savickas 

The four-time WSM winner and all-time log press record holder is making his return to competition. Fans are competitors are very excited. 


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A post shared by Mateusz Kieliszkowski (@kieliszkowskimateusz)

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Gabriel Rhéaume

Rhéaume is a 24-year-old who has been on the competitive strongman scene since 2018, according to Strongman Archives. He won the 2021 Canada’s Strongest Man competition. 

Evan Singleton

Singleton had been invited to compete in the first Shaw contest but was injured at the World’s Strongest Man and couldn’t make it.

Graham Hicks

Much like Singleton, Hicks was also invited by Shaw to compete in 2020, but the British competitor was injured during the WSM finals and had to pass on the opportunity.

Kevin Faires

The American was seventh at the 2020 WSM and ninth at last year’s Shaw Classic. He is considered by many in the strongman community to be a strong prospect for future events.

Aivars Smaukstelis

The Latvian strongman will be making his first appearance at this contest. He came in eighth at the WSM contest.


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A post shared by Maxime Boudreault (@max.boudreault23)

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Maxime Boudreault

Boudreault made his name known at the 2020 Arnold Santa Monica event, where he pushed Shaw and Martins Licis to the limit by winning the first three events. Licis would go on to win that contest, however, with Boudreault finishing in third.

Konstantine Janashia

After being forced to withdraw from the 2020 WSM with COVID-19, Janashia made his return to the contest in 2021 and made it to the Finals. He places sixth overall.

Bobby Thompson

Thompson set a new American Log Press Record — 217.5 kilograms — in May 2020, and then made his WSM debut in June. He also made it to the Finals and ended up in ninth place.

Mikhail Shivlyakov 

The Russian strongman is a fan favorite who has qualified for seven WSM competitions. He also placed third in the 2018 Arnold Strongman Classic.

Featured Image: @kieliszkowskimateusz on Instagram