Amidst an intriguing team competition like the 2022 Giants Live World’s Strongest Nation (WSN), there usually might be a standout performer who shines and takes their strength to the next level. Though predicting who would thrive between Team USA (led by Martins Licis, who replaced Robert Oberst for undisclosed reasons) and Team UK (led by Eddie Hall) would be impossible before the action started. On Nov. 26, 2022, in Liverpool, England, the standout happened to be Team USA’s Gabi Dixson.
During the Hercules Hold portion of the contest — where the competitors must utilize their grip strength to hold massive pillars in their hands for as long as possible — Dixson managed to hold her pillars for 1:08:61. (Note: Both teams were scored by their respective athletes’ collective time.) By the end of the competition, Dixson’s time was the second-longest of any of the participating strongmen and strongwomen, bested only by Team UK’s Mark Felix’s time of 1:28:35.
Felix has earned a reputation in the strength sport community when it comes to grip-strength events, winning the Hercules hold in nearly every appearance and having set the World Record for the event with 1:32 at the 2020 Europe’s Strongest Man (ESM).
In a post on her Instagram, Dixson seemed to beam with pride at just having the opportunity to once again meet a strongperson competitor like Felix. The two apparently had crossed paths before during the 2021 Official Strongman Games (OSG). Dixson recalled a humorous story about her hand size compared to Felix and his famous grip strength.
“I remember last year at [the 2021 Official Strongman Games] when I met [Mark Felix],” Dixson started, “I knew about his rep as the ‘grip G.O.A.T’ [greatest of all time] and was curious how my hand size would measure up in comparison (I have always had big hands for a woman and can palm a men’s basketball). So I ran over to him, briefly introduced myself, and asked him to put his hands up to mine. He very politely obliged, and, of course, his hands were bigger. Duh. The poor fella must have thought I was insane at the time!”
Roughly a year later, it doesn’t appear Dixson lost the significance of a performance which put her name in the same conversation as an apparent role model.
“Who would have thought that just over a year later, we’d go No. 1. and No. 2 on the [2022 WSN] stage amongst some of the best of our peers?!” Dixson wrote. “Life is crazy, y’all, and I am forever grateful for the friends I made on this trip and for Mark [Felix] being so kind about a random no-name coming up to him last year.”
As for the team results, Team UK captured the overall title. That said, Dixson’s individual display of grip prowess wasn’t lost in the shuffle. Far from it. It was an elite athlete showing she’s on par with someone she seemed to look up to.
Featured image: @giantslivestrongman on Instagram