For over 16 years, Nick Best was a fixture on the competitive strongman circuit. As a simultaneous powerlifter for much of that time, he developed a reputation for being one of the more versatile strength sports athletes of his era. In at least one competitive avenue, the 54-year-old athlete is formally drawing the curtains.
After finishing in second place to Mark Felix in the Masters (50-plus) World’s Strongest Man competition during the 2022 Official Strongman Games (OSG) in Daytona Beach, FL, on Nov. 13, 2022, Best did something a little out of the ordinary. He left his performance shoes behind, revealing he would be retiring from strongman competition.
In a post-competition interview from the livestream, Best was understandably emotional over the weight of his decision. He had nothing but kind words for a rewarding endeavor of which he had dedicated himself to for years.
“Thank you all so much,” Best said. “I love this sport with all my heart, and it’s been a wonderful ride.”
The 2022 OSG was Best’s first strongman contest since an appearance at the 2020 World’s Strongest Man (WSM). After an unfortunate lat muscle tear in April 2021 that temporarily derailed much of his training and competitive plans — a second-place result in his strongman swan song roughly just a year and a half later is commendable.
According to BarBend, while Best is retiring from full-time strongman contests, he did not rule out featuring as a professional powerlifter or any future singular attempts at breaking a strongman record. One-off short strongman events aren’t out of the question either, depending on what is detailed. Best noted he will be participating in an undisclosed full powerlifting meet in May where he wants to become the oldest man ever to record a 1000-kilogram (2,204-pound) total.
Given the extended time he spent as a competitive strongman, Best can count on plenty of highlights on his strongman resume.
Among the potentially more notable achievements, Best won the 2009 Jesse Marunde Memorial Invitational, as well as the 2016 Masters (40-plus) World’s Strongest Man and the 2016 Giants Live North American Open contests. From 2010-2020, he was a mainstay at the flagship WSM, notching his best-ever result of sixth place in 2010 and once again finished in the top 10 in 2017.
While Best refocuses his energies outside of major strongman contests, this likely won’t be the last anyone in the strength sports community hears of the icon. For a dedicated and experienced athlete like him, it might just be the beginning of the next promising phase of his overall competitive career.
Featured image: nickbeststrongman / Instagram