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Canadas Mitchell Hooper Wins 2023 Arnold Strongman Classic

Roger “Rock” Lockridge

You may have seen that two Canadian competitors – Wellness athlete Kassandra Gillis and Bikini superstar Lauralie Chapados won their respective competitions at the Arnold Classic, but those were not the only championships claimed by Canadians in Columbus (that’s a lot of c’s.)

The 2023 Arnold Strongman Classic was taking place during the big weekend as well, and the championship was won by Mitchell Hooper, a rookie strongman out of Barrie, Ontario sponsored by Perfect Sports. The man known in his sport as “The Moose” won the competition in his first appearance at the end of his rookie season in the sport of strongman. Second place went to Mateusz Kieliskowski of Poland, and the bronze medalist was American Bobby Thompson.

The Arnold Strongman Classic has been a yearly tradition since 2002. The only year there was no contest was 2021 due to the pandemic. It has the reputation of being the contest with the heaviest weights ever year. The list of past champions read like a Who’s Who of the sport, including eight-time winner Zydrunas Savickas, three-time winners Brian Shaw and Hafthor Bjornsson, and 2022 champion Martins Licis. Hooper is the ninth different champion and the first man from Canada to win the title. He was the only Canadian in the lineup.

Maxime Boudreault, another popular strongman from Canada was also in the lineup, but he suffered a leg injury and had to withdraw days before the contest. As for Hooper, the former marathon runner actually didn’t win a single event in the two-day competition, but he did perform consistently enough that he finished either second or third in all five of the contest’s individual events. The points received for those events accumulated the overall highest score. His performances and placings are below.

Friday, March 3rd

  • Wheel of Pain, 94 feet, Third Place Finish
  • Austrian Oak Log Press, 3 reps with 430 pounds, TIe for Second Place

Saturday, March 4th

  • Elephant Bar Deadlift Max, 981 pounds, Second Place Finish
  • Steinstossen Stone Throw, 185-pound stone for 10 feet, 5 inches, Third Place
  • Timber Frame Carry, 881 pounds, 14.41 seconds, Third Place

This isn’t the first win of Hooper’s season, and it’s not even the first Arnold victory for him. In 2022, he won the Arnold Strongman UK contest in Birmingham, England. Among his other victories are the 2023 Australia’s Strongest International Contest and the 2022 Giants Live World Tour Final.

He had also competed in the 2022 World’s Strongest Man contest. After winning his heat to qualify for the final, he finished that event in eighth place. Tom Stoltman of Scotland was crowned champion for the second straight year.

Hooper will now prepare for the 2023 edition of the WSM contest, and based on the momentum and success he’s already achieved, he could be Canada’s best contender since strongman legend J.F. Caron placed third in the competition in 2020.

If you want to watch Hooper’s performance, you can see the replays of both days of the contest on the Rogue Fitness YouTube channel.

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