Jean-Stephen Coraboeuf is a professional strongman and World’s Strongest Man competitor who lives and competes in Australia, though he represents France internationally. Renowned for his overhead strength, Coco, as he is known, is one of the smallest competitors on the world scene, standing just under 6-foot and weighing in at 130kg (287lb).
When not competing, Jean-Stephen runs his own gym on Australia’s Gold Coast, called Coco’s Gym, which he opened in 2014 to specialise in strongman training. He is married to Arielle Coraboeuf and they are shortly expecting the birth of their first child.
Coco has a French and Indonesian background and first came to Australia to pursue a career in professional golf! He studied High Performance Science at Masters’ level at Bond University, a qualification he puts to use daily as a strength coach. The camaraderie among strongmen is what he loves best about the sport, with the time it takes to fully master a new event what he finds hardest.
Coraboeuf was a scratch golfer and recalls being good at other sports like soccer, swimming and track and field, as well as powerlifting. He enjoyed lifting weight as part of his golf training but was enticed into strongman by a good friend back in 2013. Beginning as an under 105kg athlete, Coco progressed quickly and took the Australian title in that category in 2015 and 2016.
Progressing to the open division, success at the same level took more time, possibly due to his lack of size. Coraboeuf was able to podium at the 2017 Australia’s Strongest Man contest and placed runner-up the following year to Eddie Williams by just 1.5 points. He attended his first Arnold Australia event that year, placing 10th in a stacked field. The experience seemed beneficial and the following year he captured the open Australian title.
At the Static Monsters online contest, he placed 1st in the open category, totalling 617.5kg (1,361lb) with a 180kg (397lb) log and 437.5kg (965lb) 18-inch deadlift. It wasn’t until 2022 that he returned to competition – on the biggest stage of all – at the World’s Strongest Man contest in Sacramento, California. Not tipped to perform especially well, Coraboeuf produced a superb performance in his heat, placing 3rd and missing out narrowly on a finals place, finishing 3rd in his heat after losing a stone off to Eythór Ingólfsson Melsted (ISL).
Coco was coached for a spell by Britain’s Laurence Shahlaei and prior to the 2022 World’s Strongest Man competition, was advised by Canada’s Mitchell Hooper – also a scratch golfer! He performed solidly in his opening contest of 2023, placing 4th at Australia’s Strongest International, where he came equal 1st in the Log Press with contest winner, Hooper.
In 2019 Coco captured the Australia’s Strongest Man title, which to date is the best win of his career. Having already occupied both the lower podium places in the previous two years, he was keen to finally capture the national title in Melbourne.
With a convincing 7-point winning margin, Coraboeuf defeated Thomas Wren and Corey Polkinghorne after securing event wins in the Dumbbell Medley, Deadlift, Log Press and Stone Over Bar.
Coraboeuf will be making his Giants Live debut at Europe’s Strongest Man on April 1st at Leeds’s First Direct Arena. Shortly after he will be making his second appearance at World’s Strongest Man, where he will be hoping to go one better than last year and make the final.
One of Coco’s biggest inspirations is to show people who want to have a go at strongman that you don’t need to be a giant to do well or compete at a high level. He believes that everything is possible if you are resilient and put in the work.
Active on several social media platforms, Coraboeuf can be found on Instagram under the handle @coco_strongman and on Facebook and TikTok as Jean-Stephen Coraboeuf. YouTube contains several videos and interviews featuring the Frenchman, including BigLoz Official’s pre-WSM 2022 profile.
Coca’s excellent performance at World’s Strongest Man 2022 was aired on Channel 5 over the Christmas period and he will be featuring in the 2023 WSM broadcasts with his Europe’s Strongest Man showing.