Every Winner Of The World’s Strongest Man Competition

World's Strongest Man
Photo via @thorbjornsson Instagram, @novikov_strong_wsm, and @tomstoltmanofficial Instagram

Get all the winners for World’s Strongest Man here!

Beginning in 1977, the big question was posed to the world- who is the world’s strongest man? It is an interesting question and one many people began to wonder. And so it began. The World’s Strongest Man event recruited some of the biggest and strongest athletes from around the world and for decades has entertained audiences as best it can. With insane events that see athletes lifting all sorts of objects, each year the world has been able to crown a winner.

But each year, the competition grows. Athletes show up looking bigger and stronger and the event has been forced to change how it operates as a result. To watch these men lift and pull and throw some of the craziest objects in efforts to be crowned World’s Strongest Man is something to marvel at. It is all so impressive to say the least.

 

We have compiled a list of the overall winners from World’s Strongest Man throughout the years so you can see just who made it to that top podium spot. An event unlike any other, it has seen plenty of people succeed in their personal goals, some fail in efforts to make it to the top, and the best athletes host the trophy high as they are crowned World’s Strongest Man.

2022 World’s Strongest Man

The 2022 World’s Strongest Man event is set to take place May 24-29 in Sacramento, California. Athletes will take on events like the Deadlift Ladder, Car Walks, Log Lift, and Bus Pulls in efforts to take home the top prize. Stacked with competition, this contest is bound to be amazing to watch.

World’s Strongest Man Winners

  • Bruce Wilhelm- 1977
  • Bruce Wilhelm- 1978
  • Don Reinhoudt- 1979
  • Bill Kazmaier- 1980
  • Bill Kazmaier- 1981
  • Bill Kazmaier- 1982
  • Geoff Capes- 1983
  • Jon Pall Sigmarsson- 1984
  • Geoff Capes- 1985
  • Jon Pall Sigmarsson- 1986
  • NOT HELD- 1987
  • Jon Pall Sigmarsson- 1988
  • Jamie Reeves- 1989
  • Jon Pall Sigmarrson- 1990
  • Magnus Ver Magnusson- 1991
  • Ted van der Parre- 1992
  • Gary Taylor- 1993
  • Magnus Ver Magnusson- 1994
  • Magnus Ver Magnusson- 1995
  • Magnus Ver Magnusson- 1996
  • Jouko Ahola- 1997
  • Magnus Samuelson- 1998
  • Jouko Ahola- 1999
  • Janne Virtanen- 2000
  • Svend Karlsen- 2001
  • Mariusz Pudzianowski- 2002
  • Mariusz Pudzianowski- 2003
  • Vasyl Virastyuk- 2004
  • Mariusz Pudzianowski- 2005
  • Phil Pfister- 2006
  • Mariusz Pudzianowski- 2007
  • Mariusz Pudzianowski- 2008
  • Zydrunas Savickas- 2009
  • Zydrunas Savickas- 2010
  • Brian Shaw- 2011
  • Zydrunas Savickas- 2012
  • Brian Shaw- 2013
  • Zydrunas Savickas- 2014
  • Brian Shaw- 2015
  • Brian Shaw- 2016
  • Eddie Hall- 2017
  • Hafthor Julius Bjornsson- 2018
  • Martins Licis- 2019
  • Oleksii Novikov- 2020
  • Tom Stoltman- 2021

Bruce Wilhelm- 1977-1978

Bruce Wilhelm won the first two contests and competed at the Pan-American Games in 1975 and the Olympics in 1976. He continued to stay involved with World’s Strongest Man for a time after he stopped competing.


Don Reinhoudt- 1979

Don Reinhoudt was a force in the powerlifting world until he retired in 1976. That love of competing never left and he wanted to continue that with World’s Strongest Man. And he did with this win in 1979.

Bill Kazmaier- 1980-1982

Bill Kazmaier was a big name in a few circuits and not only won three WSM events but also two International Powerlifting Federation World Championships. For these results, some call him one of the greatest strength athletes ever.

Related: A Breakdown: What To Look For At A Strongman Event

Geoff Capes- 1983, 1985

Geoff Capes won a couple WSM events but didn’t stop there. He also has wins at Europe’s Strongest Man and Britain’s Strongest Man as well.


Jon Pall Sigmarsson- 1984, 1986, 1988, 1990

This Icelandic strongman’s record speaks for itself and Jon Pall Sigmarsson is one of those WSM legends. Aside from his four wins here, he also is a two-time Europe’s Strongest Man winner and a five-time World Muscle Power Champion.


NOT HELD- 1987


Jamie Reeves- 1989

Jamie Reeves, like a lot of these WSM winners, also has wins at Britain’s Strongest Man and the World Muscle Power Championships. But this former coal miner proved he was a top strength athlete with this win in 1989.


Magnus Ver Magnusson- 1991, 1994-1996

Another force out of Iceland, Magnus Ver Magnusson took home four of these WSM titles. He also has his own Strongman event called the Magnus Ver Magnusson Classic where the winner qualifies for World’s Strongest Man.


Ted van der Parre- 1992

Ted van der Parre represents the Netherlands with this win in 1992. Along with this WSM win, he also is a multi-winner at Netherlands Strongest Man.


Gary Taylor- 1993

Gary Taylor was a bodybuilder and Olympic lifter, as well as a strongman. His win in 1993 was one of many at other contests until an injury forced him to retire from all Strongman competitions.

Related: A Strongman Guide To Diet & Proper Food Intake For Max Gains

Jouko Ahola- 1997, 1999

This two-time Finnish strongman may have won WSM twice, but Jouko Ahola has also starred in a number of films. Other notable finishes include wins at Europe’s Strongest Man and Finland’s Strongest Man.


Magnus Samuelson- 1998

Magnus Samuelson reached the WSM podium on a number of occasions with his only win coming in 1998. This strongman and actor had a great career in both, despite his failed mistake of turning down what could have been a great role in Gladiator.


Janne Virtanen- 2000

Janne Virtanen took home the top prize in 2000 and also has notable finishes at a number of other events like Finland’s Strongest Man, the Helsinki Grand Prix, and World Strongman Challenge.


Svend Karlsen- 2001

Svend Karlsen was not only a strongman, but a powerlifter and bodybuilder as well. He earned his IFBB pro card but when an injury took him out of contention, he turned to strongman and won WSM in 2001.


Mariusz Pudzianowski- 2002-2003, 2005, 2007-2008

With five WSM titles, Mariusz Pudzianowski was a force in the world of strongman. During this stretch of WSM contest, Pudzianowski definitely had the target on his back but kept fighting and winning in impressive fashion.


Vasyl Virastyuk- 2004

Coming out of Ukraine, Vasyl Virastyuk is a six-time Ukraine’s Strongest Man winner and winner of the 2004 WSM event. He is also more than just a lifter, having been sworn in as a member of Ukraine’s parliament in 2021.


Phil Pfister- 2006

Phil Pfister was the first American to win WSM since 1982 when Bill Kazmaier took home the title. After retiring, he has been seen in film and television, as well as acting as a commentator for WSM events.


Zydrunas Savickas- 2009-2010, 2012, 2014

Zydrunas Savickas has been around the sport a long time and is also seen as one of the best strength athletes. His four wins at WSM don’t lie, and neither do his 8 wins at the Arnold Strongman Classic and 16 wins at Lithuania’s Strongest Man.


Brian Shaw- 2011, 2013, 2015-2016

 

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Brian Shaw has 26 international wins and joins the list of other notable and decorated strongmen. An impressive list of accomplishments throughout his career, one notable is his win at the Arnold Strongman Classic and World’s Strongest Man in the same year, which he has done twice.


Eddie Hall- 2017

Eddie Hall took home the WSM prize in 2017, but has notable wins at UK’s Strongest Man, Britain’s Strongest Man, and England’s Strongest Man. Aside from his lifting career, he has also appeared in film and television and stays active outside of sport.

Related: Steal These 3 Strongman Moves And Become A Massive Badass

Hafthor Julius Bjornsson- 2018

Best known for his role as The Mountain on HBO’s Game of Thrones, Hafthor Julius Bjornsson has 30 international wins and was the first to win the Arnold Strongman Classic, Europe’s Strongest Man, and World’s Strongest Man contests in the same year. He also boxed fellow WSM winner Eddie Hall and won by unanimous decision.


Martins Licis- 2019

 

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Martins Licis most recently won the 2022 Arnold Strongman Classic and is a force in the lifting world. His WSM win in 2019 is matched by his on screen appearances in TV and commercials, which are highly entertaining.


Oleksii Novikov- 2020

Oleksii Novikov represented Ukraine well and took home the top prize nearly 16 years after fellow Ukrainian Vasyl Virastyuk did in 2004. Despite having certain training setbacks given his draft status in 2022, he won Europe’s Strongest Man in impressive fashion.


Tom Stoltman- 2021

Tom Stoltman was the first ever winner from Scotland and follows in his brother Luke’s footsteps as a strongman and real contender. He also has notable wins at Britain’s Strongest Man and Scotland’s Strongest Man and continues to be a real force in the lifting world.

Wrap Up

The World’s Strongest Man competition is one to marvel at for what these athletes put themselves through in order to be the best. When it comes down to it, what you will find is a seriously competitive event full of insane tests of strength and sheer will with amazing athletes willing to take on the challenge. Tune into World’s Strongest Man and see which athlete takes home the top prize and add their name to the list of World’s Strongest Man legends.


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*Images courtesy of Hafthor Julius Bjornsson Instagram, Oleksii Novikov Instagram, and Tom Stoltman Instagram

Austin Letorney is a writer, actor, and fitness enthusiast. As a former rower, he has shifted his focus to sharing his knowledge of the fitness world and strength sports with others.