On Jan. 9, 2023, four-time World Strongest Man (WSM) winner Brian Shaw published a video to his YouTube channel wherein he announced he would compete in the 2023 WSM contest, scheduled to take place Apr. 18-23, 2023, in Myrtle Beach, SC. However, Shaw said he will go for “one more big push” to win his fifth career WSM title, indicating that the 2023 contest will be his final competitive appearance on the WSM stage. The video can be seen in its entirety below:
After taking some time to think about it, I want to give World’s Strongest Man one more big push.
If and when Shaw competes in the 2023 WSM contest, he will be 41 years old at the time of the competition. It will mark his 16th career WSM appearance. Shaw made his WSM debut in 2008. Of the athletes who competed against Shaw in 2008, only Mark Felix remains active in the sport.
Shaw has competed in the WSM Finals in 14 of his 15 appearances in the prestigious contest — the outlier being his WSM debut. His streak of 14 consecutive WSM Finals appearances is the current record. Shaw reached the podium in 10 of those 14 Finals appearances, four of which were wins. His last WSM title came in 2016. Shaw expressed positive thoughts about his chances of adding that fifth WSM title to his resume in 2023:
I feel like I’ve got it in me. My body feels great, and mentally, I think this year I can be in a much better spot.
Shaw’s four first-place finishes tie him for second-most WSM titles all-time with Žydrūnas Savickas, Magnus ver Magnusson, and Jon Paul Sigmarsson. Mariusz Pudzianowski is the only strongman to win five WSM championships.
If Shaw is to win the 2023 WSM, he will have to defeat current and two-time champion Tom Stoltman, who is the first strongman to repeat as WSM champion since Shaw accomplished that feat in 2016 by defending the title. Stoltman and Shaw faced each other in the Atlas Stones at the 2021 WSM Final to determine that year’s winner. Stoltman was victorious and claimed his first WSM title.
Along with Shaw’s four WSM wins, he holds three Arnold Strongman Classic titles to his credit. In 2020, Shaw threw his hat in the promoter’s ring by starting the Shaw Classic. Shaw won his inaugural namesake contest but donated his prize money to the rest of the field. Trey Mitchell is the reigning two-time Shaw Classic champion, having won the contest in 2021 and 2022. Shaw finished in second place both times.
Shaw isn’t the only athlete that plans to end his WSM career in 2023. Fellow “Strongest Men in History” star Robert Oberst announced that the contest would also be his last as a competitor.
Featured Image: @shawstrengh on Instagram