Ever one to bite off as much as he can chew, Novikov is aiming high this year.
Written by Robert Zeglinski
In many ways, 2022 was quite a year to remember for Oleksii Novikov. The prolific Ukrainian strongman stood on top of the podium on three separate occasions at the 2022 Europe’s Strongest Man (ESM), Giants Live Strongman Classic (GLSC), and Strongman Rogue Invitational (RI). In addition, the former World’s Strongest Man (WSM) champion (2020) set a new all-time Hummer Tire Deadlift World Record of 549 kilograms (1,210 pounds) at the 2022 Shaw Classic. Some would be content with such a resume over an entire career, let alone in a single year. Novikov is not wired that way. He’s never been one to do anything but put the pedal to the metal and go headlong into the next challenge.
On Jan. 16, 2023, Novikov posted a Q&A video to the English version of his YouTube channel, breaking down his upcoming plans for the 2023 calendar year. Among the more notable revelations is that Novikov will try to build on his Hummer Tire Deadlift World Record by successfully pulling 600 kilograms (1,322.7 pounds) at the next iteration of the Shaw Classic, on August 19-20, 2023. This mark would be an astonishing 51 kilograms (112.3 pounds) over his current record achievement.
In discussing why he wanted to extend his Hummer Tire Deadlift record by such a staggering amount, Novikov noted that he didn’t really prepare much before the pull in 2022. He believes that a greater commitment to the process this time around could only result in a dramatic leap skyward as he tries to separate himself from his peers.
“I would also like to go to the Shaw Classic and pull 600 kilograms (1,322.7 pounds) in this [Hummer] Tire Deadlift,” Novikov said. “Because last year I did 549 kilograms (1,210 pounds), now I want to pull 600 kilograms to close the topic about this deadlift. Last time, I didn’t train it at all.”
Aside from extending record marks, Novikov unsurprisingly plans to defend his ESM and RI titles. The 2023 ESM is scheduled for Apr. 1, 2023, in Leeds, England, and the 2023 RI will likely take place in Fall 2023 on a yet unconfirmed date. Plus, while he was unsure about scheduling, Novikov maintained he will appear at a measure of Giants Live competitions, too.
Last but certainly not least, the strongman will vie for another WSM title on Apr. 18-23, 2023, in Myrtle Beach, SC. If he successfully dethrones the reigning two-time champion, Tom Stoltman, it would be Novikov’s second WSM victory in four years.
“What I am planning at the moment is the Europe’s Strongest Man, the World’s Strongest Man, and the Rogue [Invitational],” Novikov said. “That’s what I want. I also don’t know exactly all the dates and events of Giants Live. So, if it is all OK, I’ll confirm myself competing there.”
Some athletes put their minds to their tasks and achieve nominally great things on occasion. Novikov is, again, not like other athletes. When he has a goal in his crosshairs, chances are he’ll reach it and exceed all expectations.
Featured image: @novikov_strong_wsm / Instagram