Every year, the world’s elite strongmen gather in one place with a singular mission — to be crowned the World’s Strongest Man (WSM). This year the WSM will be held from May 24-29, 2022, in Sacramento, CA. As always, the competition should showcase some of the world’s current stellar strongmen while they vie for the sport’s top title.
On March 4, 2022, some of the initial athletes competing in the 2022 WSM were announced. On March 27, 2022, with the event a little under two months away, the entire 30-person lineup was confirmed. Here it is:
2022 World’s Strongest Man Lineup
Here’s who will be making their way to Sacramento in a matter of weeks:
- Tom Stoltman (United Kingdom) — Reigning WSM Champion
- Brian Shaw (United States) — 2021 WSM 2nd place
- Maxime Boudreault (Canada) — 2021 WSM 3rd place
- Rauno Heinla (Estonia)
- Pavlo Kordiyaka (Ukraine)
- Rob Kearney (United States)
- Gabriel Peña (Mexico)
- Kelvin de Ruiter (Netherlands)
- Kim Ujarak (Greenland)
- Mark Felix (United Kingdom)
- Pa O’Dwyer (Ireland)
- Shane Flowers (United Kingdom)
- Jean-Stephen Coraboeuf (Australia)
- Bobby Thompson (United States)
- Aivars Smaukstelis (Latvia)
- Adam Bishop (United Kingdom)
- Evan Singleton (United States)
- Eythor Ingolfsson Melsted (Iceland)
- Konstantine Janashia (Georgia)
- Charles “Trey” Mitchell (United States)
- Mika Törrö (Finland)
- Peiman Maheripourehir (Iran)
- Luke Stoltman (United Kingdom)
- Mateusz Kieliszkowski (Poland)
- Kevin Faires (United States)
- Nedžmin Ambešković (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
- Gabriel Rheaume (Canada)
- Martins Licis (United States)
- Gavin Bilton (United Kingdom)
- Oleksii Novikov (Ukraine)
Often, the WSM will pit the athletes against each other in six groups of five people while they tackle different heats consisting of specific events. Seeing as how that group format has not yet been announced, this year could instead be five groups of six people. The only constant is that there are 30 total competitors. Examples of events include the Farmer’s Walk and Stone Carry, among many others.
Only the top-performing strongmen from these respective heats will advance to the 10-person Finals group. During the 2021 WSM, the winner of each initial group advanced to the Finals. According to the event’s history, this setup usually tends to be the case. In typical WSM fashion, each 2021 group’s second and third-place finishers battled in a Stone-Off — where the two competitors lifted the same increasingly larger stones in a sequence until either of them failed the rep.
2021 WSM reigning champion, Tom Stoltman, had to win a Stone-Off against Mark Felix to advance to last year’s Finals. Suffice to say, Stoltman’s effort more than earned him the title of World’s Strongest Man and the famous Barry Frank Trophy.
[Related: Strongman Nick Best Pulls A 755-Pound Deadlift At Age 53, Continues Comeback From Lat Injury]
Before each WSM, a few athletes might enter with higher expectations. Here are some of the possible 2022 contenders to keep in mind:
Best Career WSM Finish — 2021, 1st place
Any 2022 WSM preview should start with the British strongman and reigning WSM Champion. Stoltman enters this year’s competition having recently captured the 2022 British Strongest Man title in late February. It’s the second of back-to-back championships. The 27-year-old will assuredly be on the hunt for another prestigious strongman title repeat in May.
Best Career WSM Finish — 2019, 1st place
One of the favorites for this year’s title, Licis has been on a tear of late. The 31-year-old former WSM Champion is coming off wins in the 2022 Arnold Classic and 2021 Rogue Invitational. If he stays true to his recent form, it would not be a surprise to see Licis stand atop the podium when all is said and done.
Charles “Trey” Mitchell
Best Career WSM Finish — 2021, 4th place
A former America’s Strongest Man Champion (2018), Mitchell is no stranger to the upper echelons of strongman competition. Last year was the second time the 29-year-old competitor grabbed a spot in the WSM Finals. While he ended up just missing the podium (fourth overall), he could be a good bet to eclipse that performance and surprise some people this May.
Best Career WSM Finish — 2nd place (2018, 2019)
This year’s WSM marks the return of one of the sport’s brighter stars in Kieliszkowski. After finishing second in two consecutive WSMs, the 28-year-old Polish athlete missed the 2020 event due to a triceps injury and the 2021 competition for undisclosed reasons. Another undisclosed injury also kept him out of the 2022 Arnold Strongman Classic in early March 2022.
Notably, in each of Kieliszkowski’s four career WSMs, he qualified for the Finals every time. If he’s closer to full strength, he might, at minimum, achieve the same this spring.
Featured image: @theworldsstrongestman on Instagram