Oleksii Novikov is the 2020 World’s Strongest Man Winner and 2022 Europe’s Strongest Man champion. He has consistently been one of the sport’s stand-out performers over the last four years and in that time, he has established several world records. He has stood on the podium three times at World’s and is one of a trio of top-performing Ukrainians, along with Pavlo Nakonechnyy and Pavlo Kordiyaka.
Novikov, who currently occupies a role within the Kyiv Police Special Forces, is renowned for his intense competitiveness and his ability to perform consistently in events that require speed and athleticism. In addition, he has become equally well-known for his huge static strength, especially in various forms of deadlift and overhead lifting.
At just 20 years of age, Oleksii was winning Ukraine’s Strongest Man titles and he burst onto the international scene in 2018, winning the Arnold Amateur World Title. Capitalising on his victory, he took two Arnold World Series titles the following year, in Africa and South America. He then made his debut at Giants Live, taking 3rd at the World Tour Finals in Manchester. Having qualified for his first World’s Strongest Man, he placed 2nd in his heat, behind four-time winner Brian Shaw, but lost out on a final qualification spot in a stone-off to Trey Mitchell.
In 2020, Oleksii established a new world record for pressing the 100kg/220lb Giant Dumbbell, completing 11 repetitions. Later that year, in the midst of a hurricane in Florida, Novikov became the second youngest man, at 24-years-old, to win World’s Strongest Man (Jón-Páll Sigmarsson was just a few months younger when he won his first WSM title in 1984).
In one of the biggest upsets in World’s Strongest Man history, Novikov failed to qualify for the 2021 WSM final, placing 4th, but only a single point behind the winner, Bobby Thompson (USA). Oleksii joined four-time winner Magnús Ver Magnússon of Iceland as the only defending champion to fail to make the final – Magnússon suffered the same fate in 1997, in Las Vegas.
Despite the setback, Novikov still managed to win Giants Live’s Strongman Classic at the Royal Albert Hall that year and began the 2022 season with a bang: finishing second to 2019 WSM winner Martins Licis of Latvia, at the Arnold Strongman Classic, and clinching his first Europe’s Strongest Man title in Leeds. He claimed further victories that year at the 2022 Strongman Classic and the Rogue Invitational, prior to which he finished 3rd at WSM, after leading for much of the final following three consecutive event wins.
In 2023 the Ukrainian placed 3rd, once again, at World’s Strongest Man and was deposed as Europe’s Strongest Man by his countryman, Pavlo Kordiyaka, settling for second place. A low key performance at the Shaw Classic was followed by his withdrawal from the Giants Live Strongman Open in Cardiff.
Novikov’s greatest win in his career so far is his 2020 World’s Strongest Man (WSM) victory, which was held in Bradenton, Florida. The Ukrainian held off challenges from 2021 winner, Tom Stoltman (GBR) and Canada’s Jean-Francois Caron, to take victory by 3.5 points.
On his way to the title, Novikov took the event win in the 18-inch deadlift, in which he set a new world record of 537.5kg/1,185lb, outlifting more established deadlifters such as Jean-Francois Caron and Jerry Pritchett (USA).
Oleksii Novikov became just the second Ukrainian to win World’s Strongest Man, after compatriot Vasyl Virastyuk took the title in 2004, in Nassau, The Bahamas.
Personal Best Lifts
Oleksii is well-established as one of the greatest strength athletes in the world at present and continues to compete internationally, presenting a very real and definite title threat in any competition he enters, despite the uncertainty and significant difficulties presented by the conflict in the Ukraine.
Oleksii’s performances at Giants Live events, including his 2nd place finish at Europe’s Strongest Man and his World’s Strongest Man exploits will be televised on Channel 5 during the festive period, later in December.
Fans of Oleksii can follow him on Instagram: @novikov_strong_wsm, where his account has attracted 157k followers. On YouTube he can be found on: Oleksii Novikov (ENG). His channel features training and contest videos and has close to 30k subscribers.
How is Oleskii Novikov so strong?
Novikov rather uniquely began strongman training at a very young age and always set his sights at winning World's Strongest Man. At the age of 7 he met Mark Felix who was a guest lifter at Odessa's Strongest Man, Novikov took a photo of himself with his grandfather (who was also his coach) and Mark. Novikov then proudly competed against Mark the year he won World's Strongest Man in 2020.
Is Oleskii Novikov the strongest man in the world?
Oleskii Novikov is one of the strongest men in the world! He won World's Strongest Man in 2020. However, in 2023, he has been suffering from elbow problems which has hindered him in his latest World's Strongest Man campaign finishing 3rd.
What happened to Oleskii Novikov?
In 2023, Oleskii Novikov has been having elbow problems which hindered his 2023 World's Strongest Man competition, as well as all other competitions. He also tore his lat slightly prior to 2023 Europe's Strongest Man.