A gauntlet of events awaits the athletes in Columbus.
Written by Robert Zeglinski
The 2023 Arnold Strongman Classic (ASC) will be the unofficial start of the major competitive strongperson circuit in the year 2023. With the official respective rosters for the Women and Men already confirmed, the Arnold Sports organizing body saw fit to announce the events the athletes will tackle in a Dec. 9, 2022, Instagram video.
The 2023 ASC will be comprised of five distinctive events over two days — the Wheel of Pain, the Austrian Oak, the Elephant Bar Deadlift, the Unspunnen Stone Throw, and the Frame Carry. The competing strongwomen and strongmen will determine their respective champions on Mar. 3-4, 2023, in Columbus, OH.
Here’s a concise overview of what to potentially expect in each event at the 2023 ASC:
Friday, March 3
Two events will make up the first day of the 2023 ASC before heading into Saturday’s finale.
Event One — Wheel of Pain
Making its return to the contest, the imposing “Wheel of Pain” will task competitors with pushing the handle on a gigantic wheel (weight undisclosed) as far as possible within a minute’s time. Scores will be determined by total distance covered.
Event Two — The Austrian Oak
This portion of the contest will act as the 2023 ASC’s variation of the Log Lift. At the time of this writing, it is unclear if The Austrian Oak will be for max weight or max reps. Luke Stoltman won the event at the 2022 ASC with a max lift of 213 kilograms (470 pounds).
Saturday, March 4
The 2023 ASC will then see through its last three events on Saturday before determining the final champions.
Event Three — Elephant Bar Deadlift
Another ASC staple, the Elephant Bar Deadlift will begin the second day of the competition. The eponymous implement is longer than a traditional deadlift barbell. In a max-weight event, some of the participating athletes could potentially try their hand at breaking Hafthor Björnsson’s World Record of 474 kilograms (1,046 pounds), which he accomplished in 2019.
Event Four — Unspunnen Stone Throw
In its debut at the ASC, the Unspunnen Stone Throw will ask the competitors to lift a stone (weight undisclosed) overhead and throw as far as they can.
Event Five — Frame Carry
The closing event of the 2023 ASC will be the usual Frame Carry. The exact format of this year’s iteration is unclear at the time of this writing. Though past editions of the ASC have mandated the athletes carry a 400-kilogram (881-pound) wooden frame as fast as possible up a ramp. If they couldn’t reach the top, they were scored on their distance. Polish strongman Mateusz Kieliszkowski — who will return to the ASC after two years away — possesses the current Frame Carry World Record of seven seconds from 2019.
As far as who could come out on top at the 2023 ASC, it could be anyone’s game on the Men’s side. With defending champion Martins Licis and runner-up Oleksii Novikov not participating, athletes like reigning two-time World’s Strongest Man (WSM) Tom Stoltman, ascending superstar Mitchell Hooper, and Kieliszkowski might be in the mix for the title.
On the Women’s side of the matter, 2022 World’s Strongest Woman (WSW) Olga Liashchuk, three-time WSW winner Donna Moore (2016-2017, 2019), and 2022 WSW runner-up Andrea Thompson might be the top contenders.
The contest is still months away, but one thing’s for certain: Even one resounding lift could help elevate an athlete to win the ASC title.
Featured image: @andreathompson_strongwoman on Instagram