World’s Strongest Man Athletes Reveal Their Strongman GOAT Picks

Even the strongest are fans of the legendary.

The 2020 World’s Strongest Man (WSM) contest had some of the most decorated strongmen on the planet all converge in Bradenton, FL to compete, give commentary, or partake in the refereeing of the event. Even though four-time WSM champion Brian Shaw (2011, 2013, 2015-16) was the only previous winner competing, the 2019 WSM champion Martins Licis, 2017 WSM champion Eddie Hall, four-time WSM champion Zydrunas Savickas (2009-10, 2012, 2014), and four-time WSM champion and head referee Magnus Ver Magnusson (1991, 1994-96) were all in attendance.

As Oleksii Novikov was building toward making history as only the second man to ever win the competition at the young age of 24 (the other was four-time WSM Jón Páll Sigmarsson), host of the WSM Facebook Live stream Nick English got to ask the strongmen on-site, “Who is the greatest strongman of all time?” Here’s what they had to say.


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A post shared by WSM Žydrūnas Savickas Big Z (@savickas_bigz)

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Who Is The Greatest Strongman of All Time?

For the most part, Big Z was the resounding GOAT. There were a couple of other notable names dropped, too. Below, we list the most mentioned athletes and, underneath their names, the people who picked them as the GOAT. 

Zydrunas Savickas

Here is the list of athletes that name-dropped “Big Z” as the greatest of all time (GOAT):

  • Trey Mitchell
  • Luke Stoltman
  • Mark Felix
  • Magnus Ver Magnusson
  • Nick Best
    • Best mentioned Brian Shaw but gave Savickas the nod for having more wins at the Arnold Strongman Classic (ASC). Savickas has eight wins to Shaw’s three.
  • Eddie Hall
  • Martins Licis
    • Licis also ranked Shaw and 2018 WSM champion Hafthor Bjornsson at the top with Savickas.

Savickas is one of the winningest strongmen ever to compete. In addition to his four WSM title, Savickas has six WSM runner-up finishes (2002-04, 2011, 2013, 2015). His trophy room holds the trophies and stories of over 300 strongman contest podium finishes.

Bill Kazmier, Jón Páll Sigmarsson, Brian Shaw

With so many strongmen touting Savickas as the GOAT, curiosity heightened for who the man himself thought was the GOAT. Ultimately, Savickas went with the three-time WSM champion Bill Kazmier (1980-82).

2020 WSM Event Director Colin Bryce named Sigmarsson as the GOAT for not only his WSM titles but also showmanship, stating:

Strongman is entertainment. None of us would be here without Jón Páll.

He then went on to echo Savickas by saying Kazmier is a consideration as well.

Greatest Of All Time

According to the majority of strongmen in attendance at the 2020 WSM contest, Zydrunas Savickas is the GOAT with Brian Shaw and Bill Kazmier in the discussion. There are many young and promising strongmen currently competing at the highest level, including the Stoltman brothers, Novikov, and Luke Richardson, that can aim to reach the competitive heights of “Big Z.”

Savickas has not called it quits on his career yet. He is currently scheduled to compete in the Shaw Classic on Dec. 12, 2020, in Shaw’s gym in Colorado.

Featured image: @savickas_bigz on Instagram