Kevin Faires has officially etched his name in the history books of strongman. On Sept. 18, 2021, at 2021 Giants Live World Tour Finals in the SSE Hydro Arena in Glasgow, Scotland, Faires stepped onto the competition floor for the first event — the Nicol Stones. He gripped the unevenly weighted stones — 114 kilograms (251.3 pounds) and 138 kilograms (304.3 pounds) — with chalked hands, and walked them down the 20-meter course. He dropped the stones right before the end of the track — a legal move as the event allows for a second attempt — re-established his grip and carried the stones across the world record threshold.
Faires’ 22.2-meter Nicol Stone world record ultimately saw him finish the competition in fourth place overall — two points shy of tying bronze medalist Evan Singleton. Luke Stoltman scored his second major event win in September by claiming gold at the event (he won the 2021 Europe’s Strongest Man (ESM) contest two weeks prior), just one point ahead of his brother, 2021 World’s Strongest Man (WSM) champion Tom Stoltman.
If you have not yet seen Faires’ world record Nicol Stones run, check out the video below, courtesy of Official Strongman‘s YouTube channel:
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The Nicol Stones world record coming into the 2021 Giants Live World Tour Finals was Luke Stoltman’s 19.5 meters. In Glasgow, two other men bested that distance — Singleton reached 21.44 meters, and two-time Scotland’s Strongest Man (SSM) champion Andy Black dropped the stones at 21.86 meters.
Kevin Faires’ Strongman Career
Faires is a mainstay of elite strongman competition despite his strongman career being relatively young and his bodyweight being relatively low (under 300 pounds).
According to Strongman Archives, the 31-year-old Faires made his competitive strongman debut at the 2017 Strongman Champions League (SCL) Serbia to a runner-up finish. Although he did not win any of the 14 contests he has appeared in, he landed on the podium in five of them:
- 2019 Giants Live North American Open — Runner-up
- 2018 Giants Live North American Open — Third place
- 2017 Official Strongman Games — Runner-up
- 2017 SCL Curaçao — Runner-up
- 2017 SCL Serbia — Runner-up
Faires has three WSM appearances (2019-21). His best WSM finish was seventh in 2020. At the 2021 WSM contest, he made it to the Stone-Off in Group Five against Luke Stoltman. Faires was eliminated from the contest after lifting all six stones, including the sixth stone over the bar twice.
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Faires is historically strong in grip-based events and loading medleys (he won the loading medley in the 2021 WSM qualifying stage). His two most recent competitions — the 2021 Shaw Classic and the 2021 Giants Live World Tour Finals — resulted in fourth-place finishes.
When Faires competes on the world stage next, he will have the momentum of a new world record holder. We’ll see if he can convert that into a spot on the podium.
Featured image: @kf_strongman on Instagram