The winner of the 2023 Shaw Classic (SC) will now officially earn the title of “The Strongest Man on Earth.”
In an interview video posted to YouTube on July 17, 2023, Brian Shaw, four-time World’s Strongest Man (WSM) champion (2011, 2013, 2015-2016) and organizer of the annual SC, announced that he’d acquired the “The Strongest Man on Earth” trademark from Paul Ohl. The title had previously been awarded to winners of Fortissimus, a strongman contest that Ohl organized from 2008-2009. Shaw and Ohl discussed what the title transfer would mean for the SC’s future in their conversation.
After attempting to gain traction in 2008, an eventual lack of sponsorships led to the indefinite shuttering of the Fortissimus competition in 2009. The contest didn’t come back, but Ohl and organizers still owned the “The Strongest Man on Earth” trademark. As the winner of the 2009 edition, four-time WSM champion (2009-2010, 2012, 2014) Žydrūnas Savickas is technically the defending and final champion of the contest.
Shaw maintained that he approached Ohl for this name transition because he believes it adds legitimacy to the growth of the SC as a tentpole strongman competition, which only has three iterations at the time of this writing (2020-2022).
It is surely something the current roster of elite competitors may come to appreciate as another part of their potential prize. Here’s an overview of the field at the 2023 SC:
2023 Shaw Classic Roster
- Trey Mitchell (United States) — Reigning two-time Champion
- Brian Shaw (United States) — 2022 runner-up
- Mitchell Hooper (Canada) — 2022 third place
- Tom Stoltman (United Kingdom)
- Luke Stoltman (United Kingdom)
- Oleksii Novikov (Ukraine)
- Bobby Thompson (United States)
- Adam Bishop (United Kingdom)
- Graham Hicks (United Kingdom)
- Pavlo Nakonechnyy (Ukraine)
- Thomas Evans (United States)
- Maxime Boudreault (Canada)
- Kevin Faires (United States)
- Aivars Šmaukstelis (Latvia)
- Evan Singleton (United States)
- *Gavin Bilton (United Kingdom) | *Replaces Mateusz Kieliszkowski
Here’s a rundown of the expected events at the 2023 SC:
2023 Shaw Classic Events
- Log Medley
- Max Hummer Tire Deadlift
- Wheelbarrow and Arm-Over-Arm Medley
- Bag Toss
- Car Leg Press
- Atlas Stones
- Standing Bench Press
- Fingal’s Fingers and Power Stairs Medley
Note: The Atlas Stones appear not to be the closing event of the 2023 SC, as it often is in other strongman contests.
Trey Mitchell is the two-time defending SC champion but faces a gauntlet of peers waiting to take his throne. The most notable contenders, aside from Shaw himself, are a trio of modern WSM champions — Mitchell Hooper (2023, reigning), Tom Stoltman (2021-2022), and Oleksii Novikov (2020). With “The Strongest Man on Earth” title now awaiting the latest victor, it should add more incentive to a spirited strongman battle in Loveland, CO, on August 19-20, 2023.
Featured image: @shawstrength on Instagram