World’s Strongest Man: Chasing a Legend
The title of World’s Strongest Man is a powerful motivator for the 30 athletes performing in this year’s competition. But Brian Shaw and Žydrūnas ‘Big Z’ Savickas have an extra incentive: the chance to equal Pudzianowski’s record five championships.
The rivalries in World’s Strongest Man are often the most compelling part of the competition. They push athletes beyond their limits and put targets on the backs of the men involved. This year two of the most dominant athletes in the sport will have the chance to equal Mariusz Pudzianowski’s incredible win record.
The reigning World’s Strongest Man champion has become a powerful force in recent years and it felt like 2016 was his biggest statement yet. He dominated the competition despite fierce challenges from the likes of Hall and Björnsson and seemed more comfortable with playing to the crowd than before. It suggests that Shaw is finding another level which could make him more formidable than ever.
Perhaps Shaw’s greatest strength is dedication to being an all-round competitor. He’s equally confident chasing max reps or max weight. In a sport where athletes often go all-out for their favourite event to the detriment of others, Shaw’s focus on consistency has led him to post reliable results and win overall competitions.
However, 2017 sees the return of perhaps Shaw’s greatest rival. A man who has a score to settle…
Savickas might have already equalled Pudzianowski’s record had an injury not kept him from competing in 2016’s tournament.
The 14-time Lithuanian strongest man is often considered to be one of the strongest men of all time, and not without reason. He’s the only modern athlete to have won every current major strongman competition; a fact he’ll be looking to remind the other competitors – and viewers –as he steps up in 2017.
He last tasted victory in 2014 and, after coming in second behind Shaw in 2015, the rivalry between these two is only set to get stronger. The added prize of being the second man to win five WSM titles only adds to the potential glory.
A legend returns
There’s one more man at the 2017 World’s Strongest Man with four wins under his belt. Strongman icon Magnús Ver Magnússon made a huge impact during his time competition during 90s. He won titles in 1991, 1994, 1995 and 1996, and finished second in 1992 and 1993.
Magnússon’s competition days are now behind him but he’ll be behind the microphone, providing his expertise on the competition. If there’s anyone who can explain the pride and desire Shaw and Savickas will feel as they battle it out, it’s Magnússon.