The 2023 World’s Strongest Man contest took place on April 19-23, in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and saw Mitchell Hooper win. Hooper thus became the first Canadian ever to win the title with an amazing display in both qualifying and finals stages. Aged 27-years-old, Hooper is also very young and relatively inexperienced in the sport of Strongman.
However, that did not stop him from enduring a difficult training regimen since he has a motto that he lives by. In addition, Hooper enjoys doing Strongman, especially having found inspiration in the likes of Tom Stoltman, Martins Licis, and Brian Shaw.
Following the 2023 World’s Strongest Man competition, Mitchell Hooper sat down to give us an exclusive interview about his new achievement, the training leading up to it, his inspiration, as well as future goals.
Our Exclusive Interview with Mitchell Hooper
Mitchell Hooper explained that he didn’t do anything special to win the 2023 World’s Strongest Man competition. He just showed up every day and put in the work during training sessions, performing well enough to come out on top.
Fitness Volt: What do you attribute your success to, and how have you prepared for this competition?
Mitchell Hooper: “Being good enough every day. None of my training sessions look particularly astonishing. I don’t do anything insane on a given day, but I don’t miss a day. My training motto is Good Enough Every Day.”
We spoke to Mitchell Hooper, the winner of the 2023 World’s Strongest Man competition, to get his perspective on the challenges he faced during the tournament. Despite making many of the events seem effortless, we were curious to know what he found to be the most difficult aspect of the competition.
Fitness Volt: Which event in the World’s Strongest Man competition did you find the most challenging?
Hooper: “It was Max Dumbbell. Max Dumbbell is a weakness of mine. I came, I believe ninth out of ten in Rogue (Invitational) and that was four or five months ago… I would say max dumbbell and that is when I got most excited.”
The fans were definitely impressed by Mitchell Hooper’s performance in the Max Dumbbell, but he put up one of the most epic displays ever in another event. That was the Reign Shield Carry, the first event of the finals. At one point in the event, it looked like Hooper was completely exhausted, but he kept carrying the shield with every last ounce of strength he had left. In the end, Hooper won the event and took max points.
Fitness Volt: You had shown incredible resilience and put up one of the most epic performances in the Shield Carry event against Tom Stoltman. So, many fans believe that this largely influenced the remainder of the finals. What do you think about it, and how did it feel to cross the final few feet?
Hooper: “Winning the first event allows you to know what to do for the rest of the competition… It set it up really well and I think it was a statement to kick off the finals.”
Despite professionally competing for under one year, Mitchell Hooper has already had the experience of competing with all of the greatest Strongmen in the world. So, we asked him if anyone surprised him and if he found any athlete inspirational.
Fitness Volt: You’ve faced tough competition from some of the strongest athletes in the world. Who has been your biggest rival or inspiration, and why?
Hooper: “I am inspired by so many of the guys. I am inspired by Tom and his journey to become the strongest man in the world. Martins, Martins and I talk quite a lot. Brian and his four wins and everything he does outside of the sport as well. It is really an amalgamation of a lot of people and we are not short of people to be inspired by in the Strongman world.”
Obviously, finishing day one of the 2023 WSM finals at the top of the leaderboards results in some very powerful feelings. However, Hooper revealed that he did not think of himself as the winner at that point. Instead, he remained focused until the final moments of the competition.
Fitness Volt: Earlier this year, you claimed the 2023 Arnold Strongman Classic title in March. How did that victory influence your preparation and mindset for the World’s Strongest Man event?
Hooper: “You have to go prove yourself every single event and it was the same attitude when I started winning the events in the finals. You can’t celebrate before everything is over.”
Each Strongman athlete has their own unique motivation for pursuing the sport, whether it be for the glory, the accolades, or personal fulfillment. Mitchell Hooper recently shared his personal goals and aspirations within the Strongman community.
Fitness Volt: How do you see the future of strongman, and what role do you hope to play in its growth?
Hooper: “I hope to grow it at the community level as much as possible. I think it is a great way for people to get moving… The gym can be a daunting place, but the Strongman community is one of the most welcoming communities that I have been a part of.”
Mitchell Hooper 2023 WSM Finals Performances
Mitchell Hooper opened up the qualifying stage of the 2023 World’s Strongest Man perfectly, winning all three events of day one. Then moving on to day two of the qualifying, Hooper needed to do the bare minimum to advance to the finals. However, he wanted to put on a show for the fans and thus gave his all on day two as well. Two events were on the schedule, so Mitchell ended up winning Conan’s Wheel and placing second in the Kettlebell Toss event.
- Loading Race: First-Place
- Deadlift Machine: First-Place
- Log Ladder: First-Place
- Conan’s Wheel: First-Place
- Kettlebell Toss: Second-Place
After one rest day, Mitchell Hooper came back fully energized for the finals. He opened up the finals similar to the qualifying, winning the Reign Shield Carry and Knaack Deadlift event on day one. However, he placed sixth in the Fingal’s Fingers and lost a lot of his lead over Tom Stoltman and Oleksii Novikov.
On day two of the finals, Mitchell Hooper once again won the first two events, thus needing just a few points on the final event. He ended up getting those points and claiming the title. Fun fact, Hooper is the first man to win four events in the finals of the World’s Strongest Man competition since the 6-event format was introduced.
- Reign Shield Carry: First-Place
- Knaack Deadlift: First-Place
- Fingal’s Fingers: Sixth-Place
- Max Dumbbell: Tied-First
- Bus Pull: First-Place
- Atlas Stones: Second-Place
It is incredible to think that Mitchell Hooper has already become this big of a figure in Strongman despite not competing for even one full year. However, he has taken part in 10 International competitions, winning five of them, including the 2023 WSM and 2023 Arnold Strongman Classic.
Mitchell Hooper will continue pushing himself, as there are some more big titles for him to win. In addition, judging by his performances at the 2023 WSM, Hooper will end up with a plethora of World Records in a few years. So, there is still a lot to look forward to.