A headline event for a headline-worthy festival.

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The 2023 Arnold Strongman Classic (ASC) will occur this weekend in Columbus, OH. It’s part of the Arnold Sports Festival (ASF), running from Mar. 2 to Mar. 5, 2023.

Beginning on Friday, Mar. 3, strongperson fans can keep up with all of the Deadlift and Stone Throw action step by step. Here’s an overview of the 2023 ASC roster on the Men’s side:

2023 Arnold Strongman Classic Roster | Men

The 2023 Men’s ASC contest is in a rare position, given who won’t compete. Former 2019 World’s Strongest Man (WSM) and defending ASC champion Martins Licis will not be participating in the latest iteration. Oleksii Novikov, the 2020 WSM champion and 2022 ASC runner-up, will also not be competing. That means, in a loaded field, it could be no-holds-barred finding a new winner.

Potential contenders include reigning two-time WSM Tom Stoltman. While he’s already established himself at the peak of strongman, the 28-year-old Stoltman has never captured an ASC title.

Another athlete to watch might be Mitchell Hooper, one strongman on a hot streak. Hooper closed 2022 with six consecutive podium finishes, including wins in both the 2022 Giants Live World Tour Finals and the 2022 Arnold Strongman Classic UK, and began 2023 with a win in the Australia’s Strongest International. If anyone seems likely to add another title to their resume, it could be the Canadian dynamo.

Finally, a dark horse could be Poland’s Mateusz Kieliszkowski. After apparent discomfort in his leg, Kieliszkowski withdrew from the 2022 WSM. According to Strongman Archives, he hasn’t appeared in a strongman contest since the 2021 Rogue Invitational. Though, if healthy, Kieliszkowski’s performance ceiling likely remains high. The former five-time Poland’s Strongest Man (PSM) champion (2015-2019) notched two runner-up results in the 2018-2019 WSM. After roughly a year and a half away from competition, Kieliszkowski might be chomping at the bit to shine at the 2023 ASC.

The other side of the 2023 ASC coin features the Women. Like the Men, there is no shortage of household names set to compete. Here’s a look at the 2023 ASC roster for the Women:

2023 Arnold Strongman Classic Roster | Women

  • Tamara Walcott (United States)
  • Andrea Thompson (United Kingdom)
  • Olga Liashchuk (Ukraine)
  • Inez Carrasquillo (United States)
  • Melissa Peacock (Canada)
  • Hannah Linzay (United States)
  • Rebecca Roberts (United Kingdom)
  • Victoria Long (United States)
  • Samantha Belliveau (Canada)
  • Donna Moore (United Kingdom)

This field features four World’s Strongest Woman (WSW) championship-level competitors: Olga Liashchuk (2022), Rebecca Roberts (2021), Andrea Thompson (2018), and Donna Moore (2016-2017, 2019). Any of these elite strongwomen very well might be the person to stand on top of the podium by the contest’s end.

It’s one of the biggest competitions in strength sports, and the stars are aligning. Chances are, the ASC will provide more than a few shooting stars to gaze at.

Featured image: @arnoldsports on Instagram

About Robert Zeglinski

Robert is a seasoned and adept editor and writer with a keen, passionate penchant for the writing craft. He’s been a leader in newsrooms such as SB Nation, USA TODAY, and WBBM Newsradio, with various other content and art production teams, and first made a name for himself in his hometown of Chicago. When not knee-deep in research or lost in a stream of consciousness for a thorough piece, you can find Robert inhaling yet another novel, journaling his heart out, or playing with his Shiba Inu, Maximus (Max, for short).

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