World-class strongman Brian Shaw has officially retired after winning his last ever competition and securing the newly-minted title of “Strongest Man on Earth” at the Shaw Classic.
Shaw had previously announced that 2023 would be his last year competing in strength sports, finishing seventh at the World’s Strongest Man in April, and confirming that he would be ending his professional strongman career at the Shaw Classic in Loveland, Colorado, an event he himself founded.
The Shaw Classic comprised eight events: log press medley; wheelbarrow and arm over arm medley; car leg press; Atlas stones; tire deadlift; standing chest press; bag over bar; and fingal fingers and power stairs.
Two other champion strength athletes filled out the remaining spots on the podium: the current reigning World’s Strongest Man winner Mitchell Hooper placed second with 89 points, while Scottish strongman (and two-time WSM title holder) Tom Stoltman finished third with 82.
This was Shaw’s second win at the Shaw Classic, after coming out on top at the inaugural competition in 2020. Widely considered one of the greatest strongmen of all time, he leaves the world of competitive strength sports with a legacy that speaks for itself, including four WSM wins in 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2016, and champion titles at the Arnold Classic, America’s Strongest Man, and the Rogue Invitational.
“It’s been a heck of a ride as an athlete,” Shaw said during his final event at this year’s World’s Strongest Man. “I’m so thankful for everybody that’s been a part of it, so many people over the years that have helped me out, so many people at this contest, my family, my boys and my wife… I’m a lucky man.”
“So many of you have told me stories, shared with me different things, and I feel very fortunate to have competed on this platform but to hopefully have inspired so many other people in different ways to go out and be great, that’s what it’s all about to me, it’s what I’ve always tried to do, it’s what I’ve always tried to share, and it’s been fun, man. It’s been fun. I love all of you so much, and go out and be great.”
Philip Ellis is News Editor at Men’s Health, covering fitness, pop culture, sex and relationships, and LGBTQ+ issues. His work has appeared in GQ, Teen Vogue, Man Repeller and MTV, and he is the author of Love & Other Scams.