On May 10, 2021, World’s Strongest Man announced that the 2021 WSM contest, taking place in Sacramento, CA on June 15-20, will not have in-person spectators. Per the post:
“While restrictions are being lifted in California at the start of our event, we will still be operating without fans this year.”
However, that decision has changed as of June 7, 2021. WSM announced over Instagram that the competition, taking place at Old Sacramento Waterfront, will indeed allow spectators. New CDC and California Department of Health (CDPH) guidelines will take effect on June 15, allowing gatherings with minimal restrictions. What’s more, WSM will be giving away free tickets to fans who want to make the voyage to Sacramento. Each person can reserve up to four tickets per day, and will only be allowed to see the events occurring on that specific day (more on that below).
The original story continues below:
A post shared by The World’s Strongest Man (@theworldsstrongestman)
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Leading up to the 2021 WSM, it hasn’t been clear when California would lift COVID-19 restrictions on gatherings of large groups. However, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) says the target date to lift COVID-19 restrictions is when the WSM contest begins — June 15, 2021.
According to CDPH’s announcement on April 6, 2021:
“On June 15, all industries across the state can return to usual operations with common-sense risk reduction measures such as masking and vaccinations.”
However, whether those restrictions will be lifted is not yet confirmed, as the announcement goes on to state: “[California] will only progress to this stage if we continue to stay vigilant, keep wearing our masks, and getting vaccinated. The state will monitor hospitalization rates, vaccine access, and vaccine efficacy against variants with the option to revisit the June 15 date if needed.”
With the lifting of restrictions not confirmed before the start of the competition, WSM organizers decided that foregoing spectators is the correct decision to ensure the “safety of our athletes, staff, and the local community.”
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The official roster for the 2021 WSM contest has been released. The reigning champion Oleksii Novikov is slated to return and is currently deep into his prep, which includes a diet of over 5,000 calories per day. Additionally, 2020 WSM runner-up Tom Stoltman will return to challenge Novikov for the throne. There are plenty of strongmen on the roster who have a decent chance at winning the competition, including four-time WSM champion Brian Shaw and third-place finisher in 2020 JF Caron. Some big names who will miss the contest this year are 2019 WSM champion Martins Licis — his second consecutive year absent from the roster — and two-time WSM runner-up Mateusz Kieliszkowski.
The event list has also been released and includes staples of strongman competition such as the squat, deadlift, loading medley, keg toss, log press, Atlas Stones, and the return of Fingal’s Fingers. The 2021 WSM contest will be broadcast on the CBS Sports Network and CBS Television Network at a later date, following the event’s completion.
Editor’s note: The title, subtitle, and intro of this story have been updated to reflect the news that WSM is now allowing spectators at its 2021 event.
Featured image: @jfcaronstrongman on Instagram
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