The Giants Live Strongman Classic only started in 2020, but it is no less competitive. With 11 athletes already confirmed for the 2022 edition on July 9, 2022, at the Royal Albert Hall in London, England, there was still an unknown Wild Card. A little over a month before the competition, a rising strongman star finally rounded out the final 12-person roster.
On June 3, 2022, the Giants Live organization announced that Mitchell Hooper would take the final slot in the 2022 Giants Live Strongman Classic. The announcement of Hooper’s addition might not be a surprise with recent developments. Once Hooper made the 2022 World’s Strongest Man (WSM) Finals in his debut, it’s reasonable to assume his star would rise soon after. His Cinderella story of sorts in winning Group 1 of the Qualifying Round was one of the more noteworthy moments during the competition.
Hooper’s spot in this upcoming competition is now a natural step forward.
Here is where the 12-person roster now stands:
2022 Giants Live Strongman Classic Roster
- Oleksii Novikov (Ukraine) — Defending Champion
- Evan Singleton (United States)
- Paul Smith (United Kingdom)
- Chieck Sanou (Burkina Faso)
- Ken McClelland (United States)
- Konstantine Janashia (Georgia)
- Rob Kearney (United States)
- Andy Black (United Kingdom)
- Mark Felix (United Kingdom)
- Spenser Remick (United States)
- Adam Bishop (United Kingdom)
- Mitchell Hooper (Canada)
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After the news of his addition was made official, Hooper took to Instagram to explain his potential approach. As a newcomer, he seems to think this competition might be an uphill battle worth the challenge anyway.
“This will be a fun show,” Hooper wrote. “The events aren’t great for me. It’ll expose some of my weaknesses and set a great benchmark to improve upon. The goal — win despite a tough set of events.”
Here are the events that Hooper notes will present an obstacle for him and the other athletes:
2022 Giants Live Strongman Classic Events
- Dumbbell Medley
- The Pillars of Hercules
- Farmer’s Carry for Distance
- Axle Deadlift
- Castle Stones
Notably, while the format is different, Hooper might not have too much trouble with some of the events.
For example, the Farmer’s Carry for Distance could bear some functional similarities to the 2022 WSM Car Walk — which Hooper crushed at 11.64 seconds. If the event turns out to be centered on speed — one of Hooper’s strengths — he could be in great shape. Meanwhile, the Axle Deadlift will again be for reps. That could also play into Hooper’s favor, who did well with the somewhat similar WSM Deadlift Ladder while pulling five reps in 31.21 seconds.
Hooper might not be entirely confident now, but a victory definitely isn’t out of the realm of possibility.
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A Rising Star
Whatever result Hooper enjoys in the 2022 Giants Live Strongman Classic, it assuredly won’t be the end of his strongman ambitions.
Hooper has previously said he’d like to break the deadlift world record of 505 kilograms (1,113.3 pounds) during the 2022 World Deadlift Championships (WDC) on August 6, 2022. At the time of this writing, Hooper does not yet have an invitation to the competition. If Hooper does eventually get an invite — as someone who once deadlifted 475 kilograms (1047.2 pounds) while weighing under 140 kilograms (308.6 pounds) — his goal doesn’t seem outlandish.
Only time will tell what the summer holds for Hooper. If his recent burst onto the professional scene is any indication, he’ll likely have no issues securing invites wherever he wants to compete.
Featured image: @mitchellhooper on Instagram