Oleksii Novikov Received an Additional $55,000 at the 2022 Arnold Strongman Classic

Arnold Schwarzenegger increased Novikov's runner-up prize purse from $25,000 to $80,000 to support Ukrainian civilians.

The 2022 Arnold Strongman Classic (ASC) on Mar. 4-5, 2022, saw 10 of the world’s best strongmen competing for a first-place prize purse of $80,000. 2019 World’s Strongest Man (WSM) Martins Licis emerged victorious with 41 total points. 2020 WSM champion Oleksii Novikov finished as the runner-up — 3.5 points behind Licis — despite getting very little sleep during the week leading up to the competition due to the ongoing Russian military invasion of Ukraine. Novikov was to be awarded $25,000.

During the award ceremony, Arnold Schwarzenegger remarked that a Ukrainian strongman (Novikov) and a Russian strongman (Evgeny Markov) competing in the same competition sends a message to the world:

No wars! Peace! Peace!

Novikov is set to return to Ukraine and help defend his home country against Russian forces. Before the competition, he made it known that any winnings he earns from the 2022 ASC would be put towards helping Ukrainian civilians acquire body armor. Schwarzenegger elevated that message, both in his speech during the award ceremony and by increasing Novikov’s prize purse to equal that of first place — $80,000.

Check out Schwarzenegger’s entire speech from the 2022 ASC below, courtesy of his Instagram page:


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Arnold Schwarzenegger (@schwarzenegger)

[Related: Strongman Trey Mitchell Sets New 60.72-Second Record in the Thor’s Hammer Hold at 2022 Rogue Record Breakers Competition]

This is courage. This is selflessness. Thank you for inspiring all of us, Oleksii Novikov.

Following the conclusion of the 2022 ASC, on Mar. 6, 2022, Novikov took to his Instagram page to share a post with the caption, “This is all for you, my Ukrainians. There is some good news. Glory to Ukraine.”

The war in Ukraine has not shown signs of slowing down. Ukrainian officials accused Russia of failing to comply with the agreed ceasefire during the weekend of the 2022 ASC. According to NBC News, three rounds of talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky haven’t garnered much progress towards peace. 


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Oleksii Novikov (@novikov_strong_wsm)

[Related: Strongman Kevin Faires Sets New Dinnie Stone Carry Record at 2022 Rogue Record Breakers Competition]

Novikov’s Next Contest

Novikov’s next elite strongman competition is the 2022 Europe’s Strongest Man (ESM) contest on Apr. 2, 2022, in Leeds, England. Evgeny Markov and Luke Stoltman are the only two other athletes from the 2022 ASC who will also compete in that competition.

Polish strongman Mateusz Kieliszkowski is also scheduled for the 2022 ESM, though he withdrew from the 2022 ASC due to an undisclosed injury. Novikov’s fellow Ukrainian strongman, Pavlo Kordiyaka, is also scheduled to compete in Leeds.

Featured image: @novikov_strong_wsm