There are some strongperson contests that might have more gravitas to them. Competitions that become forks in the road in stellar careers. One of them is the annual Arnold Strongman Classic (ASC). With the 2023 edition mere months away in Columbus, OH, some of its puzzle pieces are starting to fall into place.
On Dec. 7-8, 2022, the Arnold Sports Festival Instagram page revealed the respective Men’s and Women’s rosters for the 2023 ASC, scheduled to take place on March 2-5, 2023.
On the Men’s side, some noteworthy confirmed competitors include two-time defending World’s Strongest Man (WSM) Tom Stoltman and 2022 Giants Live World Tour Finals champion Mitchell Hooper. On the Women’s side, powerlifter Tamara Walcott — the deadlift and total World Record holder in the 90-plus kilogram division — will make her strongwoman debut. Meanwhile, current Log Lift World Record holder, former World’s Strongest Woman (WSW) champion (2018), and 2022 WSW runner-up Andrea Thompson will try to parlay her recent momentum into a victory.
Here’s an overview of both rosters for the 2023 ASC:
2023 Arnold Strongman Classic Roster | Men
2023 Arnold Strongman Classic Roster | Women
Tamara Walcott (U.S. Virgin Islands)
Andrea Thompson (United Kingdom)
Olga Liashchuk (Ukraine)
Inez Carrasquillo (Puerto Rico)
Melissa Peacock (Canada)
Hannah Linzay (United States)
Nadia Stowers (United States)
Victoria Long (United States)
Samantha Belliveau (Canada)
Donna Moore (United Kingdom)
For the Men, the reigning champion Martins Licis will not appear to defend his title. Nor will the 2022 runner-up Oleksii Novikov. Overall, the Men’s field has four challengers taking vacated roster spots from the 2022 edition — Hooper, Mateusz Kieliszkowski, Pavlo Nakonechnyy, and Tom Evans.
Notably, Kieliszkowski returns to the ASC after notching two consecutive podium finishes in 2019-2020. Luke Stoltman and Bobby Thompson also return after tying for third place in 2022. Someone like Hooper — who won two of his last three strongman appearances to close out 2022 — may make noise, too. That respective group could make for a fascinating battle, should any of them improve upon their past results.
Meanwhile, top contenders for the Women’s title might include 2022 WSW champion Olga Liashchuk, three-time WSW winner Donna Moore (2016-2017, 2019), and Thompson. With no established precedent at a strongwoman contest, it’s difficult to ascertain how an athlete like Walcott might fare. However, her unique strength could make her a potential dark horse, too.
Shortly after the official rosters were announced, the Arnold Sports Festival revealed the event lineup — which is notably the same for both the men’s and women’s fields. The events are as follows:
The Austrian Oak
Elephant Bar Deadlift
Unspunnen Stone Throw
Timber Frame Carry
There’s still plenty of time before the 2023 ASC officially launches. That means all bets could be off as these star-studded rosters of elite strongpeople try to shine in Columbus in March.
Featured image: @mitchellhooper on Instagram