The official roster for the 2021 World’s Strongest Man (WSM) contest has been announced, but the events have not. Along with speculation about who is most likely to win the title this year, there are rumblings of which events will potentially return. In the mind of four-time WSM champion Brian Shaw, the Fingal’s Fingers is likely to be one of those events.
He took to his YouTube channel to share how he shaved down a Fingal’s Finger to fit indoors so he could train with it in his gym in Colorado, where snow is a routine occurrence in springtime. His WSM preparation continues to focus on speed and agility rather than maximal loads. Judging by how efficiently he moved his super yoke, 500-pound Fingal’s Finger, and set of Atlas Stones, Shaw’s routine is working for him. Check it out:
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What’s Fingal’s Finger?
The Fingal’s Fingers are named for the mythological Gaelic hunter-warrior Fingal, written about in the 18th-century epic poem Fingal, an Ancient Epic Poem in Six Books by James Macpherson. The event features athletes racing to flip a series of large, cylindrical pipes of escalating weight over a fulcrum. The movement involves cleaning and pressing the Finger to a forward-leaning overhead position and then “walking” the Finger upright via hand-over-hand transitions as the athlete moves towards the Finger’s fulcrum. Once a strongman has gotten the Finger to a vertical position, they push it over — where it falls onto tires or pads — and race to the next Finger.
The event first debuted at the WSM in 2000. The title that year was won by Janne Virtanen of Finland, but it was the overall runner-up, Svend Karlsen of Norway, who won the Fingal’s Fingers event in the finals (he flipped five Fingal’s Fingers in 42.6 seconds).
Blast From The Past
Standing six-foot, eight inches tall, Shaw’s height plays a big factor in how efficiently he can flip Fingal’s Fingers (taller strongmen naturally have more leverage given the nature of the event). He stated in his video that if Fingal’s Fingers do, in fact, make their return to the WSM event line-up in 2021, it would be the first time he has run them in competition since 2017. Check out his heat in 2017 against the 2020 WSM third-place finisher JF Caron below from Mattis Bjorheim’s YouTube channel. Shaw is in the foreground and Caron in the background:
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2021 World’s Strongest Man
The 2019 WSM champion Martins Licis and two-time WSM runner-up Mateusz Kieliszkowski will both be absent from the 2021 WSM contest. Whether or not the Fingal’s Fingers will join in their absence is still up in the air. Regardless of which events are ultimately chosen for the 2021 WSM contest, Shaw intends to continue his preparation to be ready for anything thrown his way.
Featured image: Brian Shaw’s YouTube channel.