Evans is a Ghanaian-born, Belgium-based strongman who has made a sizeable impact on the sport, after bursting onto the scene in 2022. His full name is Evans Nana Ekow Aryee, though he is nicknamed the Ghanaian Gladiator due to his fighting spirit!
Having resided in Belgium for nine years before he began strongman, his entry into the sport came during covid, when gyms were closed, and he was invited to train by a friend. With eight years of consistent strength training already under his belt, he placed 3rd in first local competition which encouraged him to pursue the sport more seriously.
Evans is currently studying for a master’s degree in accountancy in KU Lueven, in Belgium. Apart from his strongman aspirations he has the goal to be a politician – preferably minister of sport in Ghana, one day.
Having begun competing in European competitions in April 2022, Evans has come a long way in a short time, having performed at Giants Live’s Strongman Open and World Deadlift Championships in September 2023 where he held his own in what was a world class field.
Throughout 2022 and 2023 he performed extensively on the Strongman Champions League circuit, finishing just above mid-table in most of his contests. Evans’ best event results have come in disciplines such as Frame Carry and Farmer’s Walk, although he has also fared well in Deadlift variations, such as Deadlift Ladders.
In addition to strongman, Evans has competed in powerlifting and posted an 833kg/1836lb total in competition, which included a 350kg squat, 190kg bench press and 338kg deadlift, which was a Belgian record. These lifts were all performed raw under strict powerlifting rules, without the aid of lifting suits or straps.
In September 2023 Evans made his Giants Live debut at the Strongman Open & World Deadlift Championships in Cardiff, Wales. Placing eighth overall, his best event result came in the Wrecking Ball hold where he lived up to his nickname, showing amazing grit and determination by placing 2nd to Evan Singleton with a time of 69.79. He also performed an impressive 400kg/882lb deadlift which looked well within his capabilities, and narrowly missed a 430kg/970lb attempt.
In August 2023 Evans recorded his first win on the Strongman Champions League circuit, clinching a half point victory over England’s Kane Francis, with the Welsh Bull, Gavin Bilton 9 points back in third. He showed great consistency throughout the contest, never falling out of the top three in any event and taking a win in the 400kg Super Yoke, where he completed 25m in just 11.38 seconds.
Having demonstrated his huge talent and performed on a par with some of the world’s best strongman, Evans will surely be appearing at many more international contests in the coming years. A possible World’s Strongest Man selection is certainly not out of the question and it’s likely that he will be returning to the Giants Live stage in the not-too-distant future.
Evans is active on Instagram under the name: @evansthehulk and his account includes lots of positive and inspiring messages as well as plenty of footage from him training and competing.
His 2023 Strongman Open performance was available to watch on livestream and will be aired on Channel 5 as part of the World’s Strongest Man TV broadcast over the Christmas period.