Martins Licis

“The Dragon” Martins Licis spent his summers on a farm in Latvia before moving to the US. “Grandpa showed me how to move heavy stones and other farming equipment. Later, I saw people competing in the farm work I spent my summer’s doing,” he says. “Well, let’s just say I knew I’d do well.” In 2015 he placed 1st in the Odd Haugen All-American Strength Classic and hopes to bring his good form into WSM.

Throughout his career Licis has been comparatively small in terms of weight and he takes great pleasure in competing against – and beating – men who far outweigh him.

Between strongman competitions Licis competes in MAS Wrestling, a variation of stick wrestling, and won gold in the 2016 MAS Wrestling Open World Championships. His nickname, The Dragon, comes from his demeanour at these MAS Wrestling tournaments. “I always get revved up, yell, and lose myself completely to the moment to the point,” says Licis. “Some even say a little fire would spew out of my mouth when I burped…”

Licis is looking to make his mark in the world of strongman but he’s got plans for once his career is over. He’s looking to work with astronaut programmes to keep people strong during their long, weightless journeys.