2023 World’s Strongest Man (WSM) and 2023 Arnold Strongman Classic (ASC) champion Mitchell Hooper put on an incredible performance at the 2023 Shaw Classic in Loveland, CO, scoring a silver medal at the conclusion of the two-day contest. The show’s namesake, four-time WSM Brian Shaw, ended his competitive strongman career with the title of Strongest Man on Earth®.
Even though Hooper placed second, the Canadian’s performance was not without adversity. On Aug. 22, 2023, two days post-competition, Hooper revealed in a post on his Instagram page that he suffered a hamstring tear at the end of the first day of the contest on Aug. 19, 2023. Check it out below:
The extent of Hooper’s tear isn’t clear, but fought through the injury throughout the second day of competition, which included a Fingal’s Fingers and Power Stairs medley as the final event. Both movements require a lot of leg activity — a squat and leg drive for the Fingal’s Fingers, mini-squats for the Power Stairs, not to mention the duck walk with heavy implements.
Day 2 in the books. Not a comfortable experience, to say the least, after a hamstring tear on day one, but I’m proud to have battled hard to the end.
At the Power Stairs, Hooper completed the first weight of 250 kilograms (550 pounds) but left the 272-kilogram (600-pound) weight alone. At that point, Shaw had already clinched the championship. Nonetheless, the 2023 Shaw Classic podium was Hooper’s 11th straight top-three finish.
Hooper’s 2023 strongman campaign has been one of the most successful seasons in the sport’s history. He won his first ASC title in early March at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, OH. After that, he won the 2023 WSM title in Myrtle Beach, SC, in his sophomore appearance. Hooper is the first strongman to win both the WSM and ASC titles in the same calendar year since Hafthor Björnsson in 2018.
In July 2023, he placed third in the 2023 Giants Live Strongman Classic, won by Evan Singleton. The 2023 Shaw Classic was Hooper’s fourth competition in less than six months. All those competitions and finishes take a toll on the body, and the injury Hooper suffered is likely a sign of that wear and tear.
It is unclear how long Hooper will take to heal, but he did not mention anything about taking time off from strongman competition. The 2023 Canada’s Strongest Man (CSM) contest is scheduled for Aug. 27, 2023, though that roster has not been revealed at the time of this article’s publication. The 2023 Giants Live World Open is scheduled for Sept. 2, 2023, in Birmingham, England, but Hooper is not on that roster.
Hooper’s next scheduled contest is the 2023 Rogue Strongman Invitational on Oct. 27-29, 2023, in Austin, TX.
Featured image: @mitchellhooper on Instagram