The Polish athlete is ready to shine on strongman’s biggest stage again.

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Mateusz Kieliszkowski hoped to finally break through with a World’s Strongest Man (WSM) victory in 2022. Yet, roughly two months before the contest, the Polish strongman withdrew after suffering a leg injury. After a three-year WSM absence, Kieliszkowski’s return nears in Myrtle Beach, SC, on Apr. 19-23, 2023. It seems he’s pulling out all the stops. Quite literally.

On Apr. 12, 2023, Kieliszkowski shared an Instagram video of himself pulling a 32-ton (64,000-pound) truck. Kieliszkowski also lists the weight in his post as 70,547 pounds, but that is a likely typo or conversion error. The athlete writes that the monstrous truck-pulling feat is the last stop in his 2023 WSM prep before taking time to appropriately recuperate his strength.

In his post, Kieliszkowski explains that he really only spent three weeks on hardcore preparation focused on the 2023 WSM. He maintained that his last true WSM preparation in 2019 was much more comprehensive and may have led to his eventual second consecutive runner-up performance. On this occasion, the athlete did not clarify precisely why he took less time to prepare, which may be related to lapses in the timeline related to his leg injury. The athlete also participated in the 2023 Arnold Strongman Classic (ASC) in early March, where he earned second place. That competition could’ve shuffled around his training plans as his competitive energy was momentarily diverted elsewhere.

As such, Kieliszkowski isn’t setting expectations for his individual performance very high. He’ll be happy with a solid qualification as something to build on for the future with quality patience and planning.

“Three weeks behind is not enough time to make miracles happen,” Kieliszkowski wrote in a translation. “That’s why I don’t ask for much from myself. The goal is to get to the [2023 WSM] Final and then everything will be clear in the process. Next recovery, return to training and old form and then hit 2024 with full force.”

At age 29, Kieliszkowski is one of the more established modern elite strongmen with the profile to back it up. According to Strongman Archives, in addition to his WSM runner-up finishes in 2018-2019, Kieliszkowski is a five-time Poland’s Strongest Man (PSM) champion (2015-2019). He is also a two-time winner of the Giants Live World Tour Finals (2018-2019) and came in first during the 2019 World’s Ultimate Strongman.

It’s clear that in the late 2010s, Kieliszkowski turned himself into a strongman powerhouse to be reckoned with. His 2023 ASC runner-up performance might be evidence “The Polish Terminator” is on his way back to prominence. Even if Kieliszkowski believes he’s behind the eight-ball with the 2023 WSM, the titan could very well come to surprise many people in Myrtle Beach.

Featured image: @kieliszkowskimateusz 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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