Strongman Rob Kearney is now an author. The release of his new children’s book titled “Strong” follows Kearney’s story of becoming a professional strongman through a message of self-acceptance and love:
This story is about the amazing things you can achieve once you accept yourself for who you truly are…with support from the people who love you, anything is possible.
Written by Kearney and Eric Rosswood with illustrations by Nidhi Chanani, “Strong” is expected to release on May 10, 2022. Check out the cover art for the book below, courtesy of Kearney’s Instagram page. It features an illustration of Kearny hitting a front double biceps pose while sporting his signature rainbow-colored mohawk:
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“Strong” follows Rob’s dreams of becoming a champion strongman. Per the story’s synopsis, “He wants to flip huge tires, lug boulders, and haul trucks — and someday be the strongest man in the world!” However, Rob feels there is something different about him compared to the other strongmen. “He feels like he can’t fit in with his bright leggings, unicorn T-shirts, and rainbow-dyed hair.”
Will Rob find a way to step into his true self and be a champion?
Spoiler alert: yes, he will. And he’ll inspire many along the way.
Kearney is the first openly gay professional strongman. He came out publically in 2014 at age 22 in an interview with The Huffington Post while ranked as an elite middleweight strongman. In that interview, Kearney alluded to many sports being bastions of masculinity where “homophobia…is still a big issue.” Despite the sport of strongman touting some of the biggest athletes in the world, lifting the heaviest weights humans are capable of, Kearney was met with support by his fellow strongmen following the announcement.
In his own words, here’s how he felt after coming out:
I was finally living my life as authentically as possible. No more hiding, no more pretending and no more faking a smile. I was able to be myself, be happy and FINALLY realize what true love is.
Kearney has long been an advocate for the importance of LGBTQ+ visibility in professional strength sports. He believes professional athletes who are open and proud give LGBTQ+ youth role models to look up to; seeing people like them succeed helps them believe their dreams are possible.
Having pride in yourself gives you all the power in the world to achieve success in life.
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About Rob Kearney
Rob Kearney is an American strongman and former American log lift record holder — he pressed 475.8 pounds (215.8 kilograms) overhead using a split-jerk technique under the gaze of the referee and four-time World’s Strongest Man (WSM) champion, Žydrūnas Savickas. Kearney has competed at the WSM contest on three occasions. He made his WSM debut in 2017, finishing fifth overall in his Qualifying Stage group. In 2018, he finished sixth in his Qualifying Stage group, won by that year’s eventual WSM champion, Hafthor Björnsson.
At the 2019 WSM contest, Kearney finished second in his Qualifying Stage group — the best performance of his WSM career thus far. His Finals hopes were dashed by 2021 Europe’s Strongest Man Luke Stoltman, who bested him in their Stone Off. Kearney would go on to win the 2020 Arnold Strongman Australia contest.
Hardcover copies of “Strong” are currently available for pre-order via Little, Brown and Company‘s website for $17.99.
Feature image: @worlds_strongest_gay on Instagram | Illustration by Nidhi Chanani