On March 31, 2021, World’s Strongest Man released the complete roster of athletes who have been invited to compete at the 2021 WSM competition. This year, the renowned strength competition, which was first held in 1977, will be taking place in Sacramento, CA, from June 15-20. Here’s the list of 25 competitors.
Editor’s Note: This list was updated on June 14, 2021, to reflect a change in the roster. Graham Hicks injured his groin and was replaced by Ervin Toots of Estonia.
2021 World’s Strongest Man Roster
- Gavin Bilton — Great Britain
- Adam Bishop — Great Britain
- Maxime Boudreault — Canada
- JF Caron — Canada
- Kevin Faires — USA
- Mark Felix — Great Britain
- Johnny Hansson — Sweden
- Ervin Toots — Estonia
- Terry Hollands — Great Britain
- Eythor Ingolfsson Melsted — Iceland
- Konstantine Janashia — Georgia
- Trey Mitchell — USA
- Oleksii Novikov — Ukraine
- Robert Oberst — USA
- Travis Ortmayer — USA
- Jerry Pritchett — USA
- Luke Richardson — Great Britain
- Brian Shaw — USA
- Mikhail Shivlyakov — Russia
- Evan Singleton — USA
- Aivars Smaukstelis — Latvia
- Luke Stoltman — Great Britain
- Tom Stoltman — Great Britain
- Bobby Thompson — USA
- Chris van der Linde — South Africa
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Of the 25 athletes on the roster above, 19 are returning to competition. Though, there were a few shake-ups last year. Konstantine Janashia, Mateusz Kieliszkowski, and 2019 WSM winner Martins Licis all withdrew from the 2020 competition before it even kicked off. Janashia had COVID-19, Kieliszkowski injured his triceps, and Licis was recovering from a car accident. During the 2020 WSM, a few athletes had to drop out mid-competition. Ervin Toots injured his quad, Gabriel Peña had a heart complication, and Graham Hicks tore his biceps during the Giant Medley.
You’ll notice that a few big names are missing from the 2021 WSM roster. Nick Best (who is 52 years old), Martins Licis, the 30-year-old with a WSM title to his name, and Kieliszkowski are all missing from the list.
An official list of reserve athletes has not been released, but Peña announced in Instagram stories that he was asked to be a backup. A list of official events has also yet to be revealed.
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WSM Heads to The Golden State
On Feb. 17, 2021, WSM announced a multi-year deal with Visit Sacramento Sports Commission (VSSC). The WSM will take place in Sacramento in 2021, 2022, and for a third year that has yet to be announced. The 2019 and 2020 WSM contests took place in Bradenton, FL. The last time WSM took place in California was in 2014. The contest was held in Los Angeles, and strongman GOAT Zydrunas Savickas secured his fourth title at the event. WSM has been held in California seven other times, including:
- WSM 1977 — Hollywood, CA at Universal Studios — won by Bruce Wilhelm
- WSM 1978 — Hollywood, CA at Universal Studios — won by Bruce Wilhelm
- WSM 1979 — Hollywood, CA at Universal Studios — won by Don Reinhoudt
- WSM 1981 — Valencia, CA at Magic Mountain — won by Bill Kazmaier
- WSM 1982 — Valencia, CA at Magic Mountain — won by Bill Kazmaier
- WSM 2007 — Anaheim, CA — won by Mariusz Pudzianowski
- WSM 2012 — Los Angeles, CA — won by Zydrunas Savickas
As usual, the complete WSM contest will be broadcast on the CBS Sports Network and CBS Television Network at a later date, following the event’s completion. In 2020, WSM was broadcast to 70 different countries and territories and accrued close to 500 million household views.
BarBend will update this article if and when the roster changes.
Featured image: @theworldsstrongest on Instagram