The 2021 World’s Strongest Man contest is set for June 15-20 at the Old Sacramento Waterfront in Sacramento, CA. In total, 25 athletes will compete for the ultimate title in strength sports. Nineteen of those strongmen competed in the 2020 WSM, including returning champion Oleksii Novikov, runner-up Tom Stoltman, third-place finisher JF Caron, and four-time WSM champion Brian Shaw.
Although it was originally announced that in-person spectators would not be allowed to attend (due to COVID-19 restrictions), new guidances have made it so the event will be open to fans. If you can’t make it in person (tickets were unavailable at the time this article was written), then keep reading for more information on how to stay up to date with the action.
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2021 WSM Competition Details
When: June 15-20, 2021.
Where: Old Sacramento Waterfront in Sacramento, CA.
- Qualifying Rounds — June 15-17, 2021 (25 athletes competing).
- Finals — June 19-20, 2020 (10 athletes competing).*
*The competitors take off Friday, June 18, 2021.
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How to Watch the World’s Strongest Man
As was also the case with the 2020 WSM contest, the 2021 WSM contest will be filmed and broadcast on CBS Sports Network in the U.S and Channel 5 in the U.K. after the competition is complete. The schedule for each broadcast in each country is as follows:
2021 World’s Strongest Man Broadcast Dates
- United States — all on CBS Sports Network
- July 3: 2 p.m. – 3 p.m. — also on Paramount+ Premium
- July 7: 9 p.m. – 10 p.m.
- July 22: 8 p.m. – 9 p.m.
- July 29: 8:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.
- Aug. 5: 8:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.
- Aug. 12: 8:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.
- Aug.19: 8:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.
- Aug. 26: 8:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.
- Sept. 2: 8:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.
- Sept. 4 (Competition Finals): 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. — also on Paramount+ Premium
- Thursday, September 9 (Encore Show): TBD on CBS Sports Network
- United Kingdom — December 26, 2021 — Channel 5
Coverage of the 2021 championship will be broadcast to approximately 70 additional countries and territories starting in December 2021, totaling close to 500 million households:
- Australia & New Zealand — ESPN
- Canada — TSN
- Israel — Sport5
- Latin America — ESPN
- Pan Asia — Fox Sports Asia
- Sub Saharan Africa — Supersport
- Serbia — Sportklub
- Spain — TV3
- Turkey — Saran
- Thailand — 3BBTV
Note: The U.S. and U.K. dates are locked in, but broadcast information for the other countries is subject to change.
Who is Out of the 2021 WSM?
Unfortunately, injuries are fairly common in the sport of strongman. During the 2020 WSM, Gabriel Peña, Ervin Toots, and Graham Hicks all dropped out mid-competition due to injuries (and Peña had heart complications). Here, we’ll update this article to reflect athletes on the 2021 roster who have had to drop out either before competition or during the event. So far, one athlete is already out of the show.
Before the first day of the 2021 WSM, June 14, 2021, Graham Hicks of the UK announced that he was withdrawing from WSM with a groin injury. According to Hicks, he injured himself a few weeks before the competition and then aggravated the area while testing out the squat event in Sacramento, CA.
His replacement is Ervin Toots of Estonia, who, as it is written above, also had to pull out of the 2020 World’s Strongest Man. Gavin Bilton has replaced Hicks in Group One and Toots takes Bilton’s old spot in Group Five.
Europe’s Strongest Man in 2020 had to drop out due to a ruptured biceps. The 23-year-old Richardson injured himself during the loading medley — the very first event on day one of WSM — which saw competitors load two 225-pound barrels and a 275-pound anvil to a platform before carrying an 825-pound frame without lifting straps.
Terry Hollands of the UK is the third man to withdraw from the 2021 WSM. Hollands announced that he was dropping out of the competition after completing both events during the first day of the competition. After a full day of competing, Hollands sat in second place in Group Four, two points behind Konstantine Janashia of Georgia. The British strongman also announced that he was retiring from WSM. This year marked Hollands 15th time qualifying for WSM. His highest placing in the prestigious event was third (2007, 2011).
Chris van der Linde
On day two of the competition, South African strongman Chris van der Linde pulled out of the competition. The news was announced on World’s Strongest Man’s Instagram page, but they did not specifically say why van der Linde dropped out. This was van der Linde’s first time competing in WSM. With his exit, Group Four now has only three competitors remaining — Konstantine Janashia, Jerry Pritchett, and Adam Bishop.
BarBend will update this section if and when any more dropouts are announced.
2021 WSM Roster
The qualifier groups were announced on June 4, 2021.
The winner of each group will advance to the Finals. The second and third-place finishers in each group, respectively, will compete in a head-to-head Stone-Off (Atlas stone over bar event). The winner of each Stone-Off will advance to the Finals.
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2021 WSM Events
Here’s a complete rundown of every event on every day of competition at the 2021 WSM. There will be 14 events in total, including a train pull and the new Titan’s Turntable.
Qualifying Round — Day One
Qualifying Round — Day Two
- Fingal’s Fingers
- Train Pull
Qualifying Round — Day Three
- Overhead Medley
- Pickaxe Hold
- Stone Off
Finals — Day One
- Giant’s Medley
- Titan’s Turntable
- REIGN Keg Toss
Finals — Day Two
- Log Lift
- KNAACK Deadlift
- Atlas Stones
In 2021, WSM will offer behind-the-scenes coverage via “World’s Strongest Man: BACKSTAGE LIVE presented by SBD,” which will include results, event recaps, athlete interviews, and more on Facebook Live. Former BarBend Editor Nick English and 2019 WSM winner Martins Licis will host the show.
Episodes will air at 4 p.m. PST each day from June 14-20. You can acquire access to all seven episodes via the live stream’s Facebook event page for $2.99.
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This will be the first time since 2014 that the WSM will take place in California. The 2019 and 2020 WSM took place in Bradenton, FL. The new location comes as part of a multi-year deal with the Visit Sacramento Sports Commission (VSSC). The 2022 WSM contest and a yet-to-be-announced third year will also take place in Sacramento.
Featured image: @theworldsstrongestman on Instagram.