2019 World’s Strongest Man (WSM) champion Martin Licis is on a hiatus from competitive strongman competition due to knee, wrist, and elbow injuries. The Latvian-American strongman is using his time off to chronicle strength’s influence on cultures around the world in a YouTube series titled “Strength Unkown.”
After traveling to Colombia, the Basque Country, Georgia, China, and Mongolia, Licis visited Scotland on the Sept. 11, 2023, episode of the “Strength Unkown” to explore the history of stone lifting and participate in Donald Dinnie Day. Check out the video below, courtesy of Licis’ YouTube channel:
Licis began his Scottish adventure with Brett Nicol, the creator of the Nicol stones and the world’s most successful Dinnie Stones lifter — he’s lifted the legendary stones 497 times.
Loch Earn in upland Perthshire was Licis’ first stop, where he joined other stone lifters to lift the Ardvorlich stone, which weighs 152 kilograms (335.1 pounds). Traditionally, to be a successful lift, a lifter must stand with the stone above their hips.
Lifters in Licis’ session attempted to shoulder the Ardvorlich stone, but few could — Licis became only the sixth man in history to achieve the feat. Licis attempted to press the stone overhead but was unsuccessful.
Licis made his way to the 600-year-old 127-kilogram (280-pound) Fianna stone. Although relatively small, this stone is dense and awkwardly shaped, necessitating a precise stone-lifting technique. The stone was originally meant to be lifted 10 inches off the ground, but Licis became the first person to hoist it overhead.
The Chieftains stone, also known as the Menzies stone, located outside of Castle Menzies, was Licis’ third stone lift of the day. The Menzies stone resembles an ancient Atlas stone, weighing 114 kilograms (251.3 pounds). Licis successfully presses the Menzies stone overhead.
The Donald Dinnie Day
Although Licis didn’t attempt lifting the Dinnie Stones at the 2023 Donald Dinnie Day, he cheered on the two-time WSM champ Tom Stoltman, 2021 Europe’s Strongest Man (ESM) Luke Stoltman, 2016 ESM Laurence Shahlaei, and Licis’ business partner Romark Weiss as they took turns on the coveted stones.
Shahlaei created history by walking the Dinnie Stones for a distance of 22 feet and 4 inches, breaking the record of the legendary Donald Dinnie, who had carried his namesake stones for 17 feet and 1.5 inches — the width of the Potarch Bridge — in 1860.
The asymmetrical stones weigh a combined 332.49 kilograms (733 pounds). The smaller stone tips the scales at 144.47 kilograms (318.5 pounds), whereas the bigger weighs 188 kilograms (414.5 pounds).
Licis will return to the competitive strongman circuit at the 2023 World’s Strongest Nation contest, scheduled for Nov. 18, 2023, in Liverpool, UK. He will captain Team USA against the Eddie Hall-led Team UK.
Featured image: @martinslicis on Instagram