Just a year after going pro, Canadian Strongman Mitchell Hooper has captured the greatest prize in his sport, claiming the title of World’s Strongest Man.
Known as “The Moose” in the Strongman community, the Barrie, Ont., competitor beat out nine other international competitors in various feats of strength in Myrtle Beach, S.C., over the weekend to lift the Canadian flag to the top of the podium.
“It’s not going to hit me for a while,” Hooper told USA Today. “It’s very hard for me to digest these things. It’s really hard to put into words how I feel. Really, shock is how I feel.”
The University of Guelph alum’s win put a stop to a potential three-peat by England’s Tom Stoltman, who placed second. Oleskii Novikov of Ukraine came in third.
And Hooper doesn’t just hold this year’s bragging rights. He’s also the first Canadian to ever hold the title of World’s Strongest Man.
It was second time Hooper has attended the SBD World’s Strongest Man championship – he was chosen as a last-minute replacement pick in 2022, where he finished in eight place.
But in the year that’s passed, he’s gone on a winning blitz, hitting the podium at the 2022 Giants Live Strongman Classic, World Open and the Shaw Classic. He also won first place at the 2022 Arnold Strongman Classic UK, The Giants Live World Tour Finals and the 2023 Arnold Strongman Classic in Ohio.
In this year’s podium-topping performance, Hooper dominated in his qualifying group and won three of the final round’s six events outright (Shield Carry, Bus Pull and Deadlift) while tying for top spot in the Max Dumbbell Press.
“The thing I love the most about Strongman is the incredible community,” Hooper told Men’s Health magazine. “We support each other and I think you can see that in spades when we are out here competing against one another. That is true at the local level, the pro level and world level. We are not short on people to be inspired by in the Strongman world. I feel very lucky to be part of it and hope to grow that as much as I possibly can.”
Hooper, whose website boasts the mantra, “Lift Heavy, Be Kind,” owns a kinesiology clinic in Barrie. He told USA Today that he aims to teach others about exercise as a preventative medicine that can help protect people from injury, disease and other ailments.
“My goal in all of these things is to experience what I ask other people to do,” Hooper said. “I ask other people to be uncomfortable lifting heavy, I must do the same thing to be able to relate to them. I must run distance to instruct someone to aerobic train. I’m just really, really fortunate that it’s turned into something pretty incredible.”
“Thank you so much to everyone who supported me over the last little while,” Hooper said in a YouTube live celebration on April 24 while showing off the WSM trophy. “It’s been an absolutely mental run and it’s going to take some time to wrap my head around this guy.
“This is crazy, to be the first Canadian to win World’s Strongest Man. I’m really grateful to be able to bring that back on the backs of some amazing Strongmen.”