Strongman fans have had quite the ride during the 2021 Giants Live season. The close finishes and dramatic moments of the four-month season that began on July 24th at the Royal Albert Hall include a new Europe’s Strongest Man (ESM), seven athletes deadlifting over 1,000 pounds in the same event, “Iron Biby” Cheick Al-Hassan Sanou breaking both the axle and log lift world records at the World Log Lift Championships, and Kevin Faires scoring a new Nicol Stones world record.
The final show of the season is upon us: Britain’s Strongest Man — taking place on Oct. 23, 2021, in the Utilita Arena in Sheffield, England. Those who want to watch the action will be able to do so via a live stream on the event’s Facebook page for $4.99. Those who wish to witness the contest live can purchase tickets via Ticketmaster or Eventbrite.
Here are the 10 athletes competing in the one-day event:
2021 Britain’s Strongest Man Roster
- Adam Bishop, England — 2020 Britain’s Strongest Man (BSM)
- Andy Black, Scotland — 2021 Scotland’s Strongest Man (SSM)
- Desmond Gahan, Wales
- Graham Hicks, England
- Luke Stoltman, Scotland — 2021 Europe’s Strongest Man
- Mark Felix, England
- Pa O’Dwyer, Ireland
- Paul Smith, England
- Shane Flowers, England
- Tom Stoltman, Scotland — 2021 World’s Strongest Man (WSM)
The BSM contest was last held in January 2020 when the reigning champion, Adam Bishop, earned his title. Given the schedule adjustments caused by the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, this is the longest the title has gone uncontested since 2008 (the competition wasn’t held from 2009-2011). Bishop and the Stoltman brothers shared the BSM podium 21 months ago (Tom in second, Luke in third).
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2021 Britain’s Strongest Man Events
The 10 athletes will complete the following five events in the same day:
Athletes to Watch
Reigning BSM Adam Bishop is hungry to hold onto his title. A multiple-time finalist at the WSM, Bishop is a consistent performer known for his speed on moving events and ability to rep a heavy deadlift. Although he has not historically performed as well on overhead events, he is a strong technical lifter and could hold his own in the dumbbell medley, which would help his chances to stand atop the podium once more.
2021 WSM Tom Stoltman should be commended for his consistency this season despite having to overcome catching COVID-19. He has improved his deadlift, has a surprising amount of agility for a six-foot, eight-inch giant, and is heavily favored in any event that involves an Atlas Stone. Aside from Tom Stoltman’s blunder in the Stones against Evan Singleton at the 2021 Giants Live World Tour Finals, the only person who has challenged Stoltman on the Stones is his fellow Scotsman, Andy Black.
Luke Stoltman established his legacy in the past month, capturing the 2021 ESM title and the 2021 Giants Live World Tour Finals. He cemented himself as one of the best pressers on the planet, consistently crushing log lift events, and has a lot of momentum coming into the 2021 BSM contest.
One of the youngest members of the field, Paul Smith,— has been quietly carving out an impressive resume for himself over the past few years. A three-time winner of ESM under UKSA — a different federation than Giants Live — Smith previously competed at the 2018 WSM and won the title of 2017 World’s Strongest Junior.
Smith is a real dark horse in this competition, but with his background in Olympic lifting, he has the potential to surprise people. He is strong with a heavy dumbbell, fairly swift in moving events, and is solid in the deadlift and Stones. If he can tie it all together on competition day, he could put himself in contention for a podium spot, as he did at 2021 UK’s Strongest Man earlier this year, where he finished second.
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Ahead to Sheffield
As this year’s qualifying tour for the 2022 WSM comes to a close, strength fans can look back on an enjoyable and exciting season. The question remains: Who will win the 2021 BSM contest? Will Adam Bishop hold onto his title, will one of the Stoltman brothers unseat him, or could there be a new, unheralded champion on the horizon. Find out on Oct. 23, 2021, at the Utilita Arena, Sheffield, England, or watch the live stream on the Official Strongman Facebook page.
Featured image: @giantslivewsm on Instagram