For decades, strength enthusiasts around the world have been enthralled by the World's Strongest Man competition. The gigantic athletes completing feats of inhuman strength have been a staple on television since the 1980s. Almost 40 years later, this year's contest is upon us. The 2017 World's Strongest Man kicks off on May 20th, from Gaborone, Botswana.
The lineup this year is stacked full of tremendous strength athletes from around the globe, all vying for the title of The World's Strongest Man. For those of you who aren't familiar, the first stage of The World's Strongest Man is the group stage. Five groups of six athletes compete, and the top 2 from each group advance to the final.
The final consists of six events over the course of a couple of days to determine who is The World's Strongest Man. Here are the events that will be contested in the final:
There are some exciting story lines in this year's contest. Number one is that Zydrunas Savickas is returning from injury to try and take the title back from Brian Shaw. Brian and Zydrunas are the only two athletes who have won the World's Strongest Man since 2009. They both have four titles to their name. Can one of them make it five and tie with the great Mariusz Pudzianowski?
The other big story line is the up-and-comers Eddie Hall and Hafthor Bjornsson. Eddie Hall deadlifted the unimaginable 500kg (1102 lbs.) back in 2016 and he is widely considered the strongest man on the planet, statically. Hafthor Bjornsson (who plays The Mountain on the TV show Game Of Thrones) has bulked up to the immense size of 6'9" and 450 lbs. and has improved his strength quite a bit.
However, Brian Shaw has to be considered the favorite. He is a gigantic athlete who has no real weaknesses. If he performs to his best, most think he should take the 5th title back to the USA. Zydrunas is the most decorated strongman of all time. But, he is now 41 years old and may be past his prime. Although, you can never count out Big Z.
Now, let's move on to the fun part -- some predictions of the final events. Keep in mind, the biggest threat to these athletes is injury. For the sake of this article we will pretend that no one gets hurt during the contest.
EVENT 1 - FLIP & DRAG
This will be a tire flip of some sort and a backwards sled drag variation. In the past, athletes with a combination of strength and stamina have won this event. Our prediction: 1. Thor 2. Shaw 3. Savickas
EVENT 2 - SQUAT LIFT
Historically, squat lift in WSM has been on different apparatuses. This year, it is likely to be a thick axle bar with huge globe weights on each end. It should be around 700 lbs. and contested for max reps. In this event, static strength will rule. Our prediction: 1. Hall 2. Savickas 3. Shaw
EVENT 3 - VIKING PRESS
The viking press is a shoulder press implement where athletes will have to complete max repetitions with a given weight. This is another static event that will favor Eddie Hall who probably has the strongest shoulders on the planet. Our prediction: 1. Hall 2. Thor 3. Savickas
EVENT 4 - VEHICLE PULL
This will most likely be a massive plane pull like last year. Last year, Thor won the pull by going the farthest -- not a single competitor finished the whole distance. It is very rare for Brian Shaw to lose a vehicle pull and we think he will not let that happen this year. Our prediction: 1. Shaw 2. Thor 3. Hall
EVENT 5 - DEADLIFT
There is no indication whether this will be a maximum attempt, or a set weight for as many reps as possible. We are going to guess it will be a maximum. This will favor Eddie Hall and Brian Shaw, the two strongest pullers in this contest. Our prediction: 1. Hall 2. Shaw 3. Thor
EVENT 6 - ATLAS STONES
The ultimate strongman event is the Atlas Stones. The contest will be very close at this point and there will be a lot of great stone lifters in the final. This will be an exciting event. Our prediction: 1. Shaw 2. Thor 3. Hall
In the end, we predict Brian Shaw will win his 5th title by putting in a consistent performance across all events and by minimizing mistakes. Brian Shaw does not make mistakes that other competitors might make. He is well rounded and we believe he will come out on top. We predict that Eddie Hall will place 2nd and Hafthor Bjornsson will take 3rd.
This is simply a prediction for speculation's sake. Anything can happen when it comes to the actual contest. We will all have to wait and see who becomes the 2017 World's Strongest Man!
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