The America’s Strongest Man® contest has long been held in high regard among strength athletes as the title to hold in America. As big as the show is, it is not as big as her champion this year.
Fresh of of his WSM victory 5 weeks ago in China, Brian Shaw arrived in Las Vegas with a quiet confidence. Sure he had the swagger of a champion, let’s face it, he has been the WSM victor twice and a winner at the Arnold once. But, Shaw was humble. He stopped for pictures with fans, signed autographs, gave interviews, posed for a magazine article and more. While the other athletes rested in between events, Brian, was inundated by fans longing to ask questions or get a picture with the Champ. And, what did the 6’8” 420 pound Shaw do? He smiled. He gave a thumbs up. He made time for every fan and well wisher.
On the field, Shaw was a professional. He was courteous toward the judges and staff, he was a ferocious competitor during the events. He would raise his hand and celebrate with the crowd when he did well or not so well. Day one might have shaken other competitors as, Shaw, accustomed to dominating the field only won a single event. He was in first place going into day two but only by the narrowest of margins.
Day two however saw the champion arise. He dominated three of 4 events celebrating with the crowd with high-fives and cheers. On the last event, the ASC signature Suicide Medley, Shaw was paired with brand new ASC -Pro, rookie Dimitar Savitinov. As the pair stood at the starting line the contrast was evident. The comparison to the Biblical story of David and Goliath is inevitable.
As the whistle blew both men started down the field. For a moment they were neck and neck. But eventually Shaw’s massive size, speed and athleticism began to create an ever increasing gap between the pair. The giant, the champion, easily raced down the course heaving implement after implement into a waiting sled and then dragged the over 1500 pound sled to the finish line, to sure victory and the title America’s Strongest Man® 2013.
And then what did the giant? In true champion fashion Shaw did what he had done all weekend. He gave a single fist pump to the crowd and made his way to his challenger, a young man that was still laboring down the field to the finish line, bent over and started to yell encouragement. The Champ stayed with Savitinov the rest of the way. As Savitinov crossed the finish line Shaw embraced him and the pair celebrated their achievement with the fans!
Brian Shaw won America’s Strongest Man® in grand fashion. He is truly a humble champion and the strongest man here or everywhere else on the planet!