Still only a few years removed from his debut in the sport, 28 year-old Mitchell Hooper became Strongman’s new, undeniable breakout star in 2023. The confident and calculating Canadian became just the fourth man in history to win the Arnold Strongman Classic and World’s Strongest Man in the same year, and he added a Rogue Invitational title to his trophy case in October for good measure.
Also known as “The Moose,” Hooper first made waves in 2022 when he reached the final of the World’s Strongest Man competition as a rookie, finishing 8th overall. He stole the spotlight again at the ‘22 Rogue Invitational in Austin, winning a pair of events (Sandbag Carry and Yoke Carry / Log Lift Medley) en route to a 3rd place finish, and setting a new World Record in the Dinnie Stone Hold during the Rogue Record Breakers challenges. That showing, combined with a 1st place effort at the UK Arnold and several other podium finishes in international competition, rapidly propelled Hooper from dark horse status to “next big thing.”
It was at the 2023 Arnold Strongman Classic that the Moose officially “arrived.” Having earned a reputation for his uniquely scientific assessment of each event—and his fellow competitors—Hooper strolled into Columbus and calmly put on a master class in consistency. Despite never winning an event across the two day competition, he bested the 10-man field by finishing at least third in EVERY event, giving him enough points to beat Mateusz Kieliszkowski (41.5 to 37.5) for the title. When interviewed after the win, beer in hand, Mitchell famously deadpanned, “Nothing that happened surprised me.”
Hooper was even better at the WSM Final in Myrtle Beach, finishing 1st or 2nd in five of the six events to beat out 2x champion Tom Stoltman. The results were similar in Texas at the ‘23 Rogue Invitational, as Hooper again seemed unfazed by any implement or type of challenge (including bad weather), doing just enough to outscore Stoltman (42-40) and secure another big prize.
An accomplished all-around athlete, the Ontario-based Hooper has previously found success in everything from marathon running to bodybuilding, football, golf, and swimming. He enjoys helping other athletes as a strength coach and exercise physiologist, and above all else, he loves to train for whatever challenge comes next.
“If I wasn’t paid to do this and if I didn’t have any accolades, I would still be in the same gym doing the same thing,” Hooper told us. “I love to do this.”