WE ARE THE STOLTMAN BROTHERS

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Luke ‘The Highland Oak’ Stoltman

Luke Stoltman is the eldest of the Stoltman brothers (and the brains and the beauty!). Born in Invergordon in the Scottish Highlands in 1984, Luke has had a passion for fitness and strength training from a young age. Inspired by a family photo of his grandfather, a Polish war refugee, carrying a log the same size as his body, Luke began weight training from the age of 15. Initially training as a bodybuilder, he later became more interested in strength, entering and winning his first contest, a local deadlift competition in 2011 aged 27. This led to him participating in the ‘Highlands Strongest Man’ in 2012, held in a gym car park in Inverness, where he again placed first.

A relative late comer to the sport, Luke’s impressive feats at the local competitions convinced him to pursue strongman training seriously, albeit alongside his ‘9-5 job’ working on oil rigs. In 2013 Luke competed in his first Britain’s Strongest Man (BSM), where he placed 9th. He then went on to secure 5 consecutive Scotland’s Strongest Man titles from 2013 – 2017, and consistently improved his BSM placing each year, reaching 4th by 2017.

A debut at World’s Strongest Man came in 2016, after a solid performance at Europe’s Strongest Man the previous year. Although Luke failed to reach the final, after a 4th place finish in his heat, he gained invaluable experience and was starting to get noticed on the international stage. The following year (2017) he again improved on his BSM placing (4th) and at WSM he narrowly missed a place in the final, finishing 3rd in his heat behind future WSM champions Hafthor Bjornsson and Martins Licis.

At this stage in Luke’s career, although he was steadily improving his strength, it was not reflected in his contest results. In 2018 he again missed out on a World’s Strongest Man Final qualification, losing out to four time WSM winner Zydrunas Savickas and Robert Oberst in the heats, and placing a disappointing 6th at BSM. Luke’s job, where he would work offshore for two to three weeks at a time on oil rigs without access to the suitable strongman training equipment, was seen to be hampering his preparation for competition.

In 2019 Luke took the leap into full-time training, leaving his job in the oil and gas industry to focus solely on fulfilling his potential as a world level strongman competitor. This led to a significant breakthrough as he successfully qualified for the WSM final in his first year as a professional, finishing 7thoverall alongside younger brother Tom, who placed 5th. The pair were the first brothers to ever reach the final at WSM, and an achievement that gained them the moniker ‘The World’s Strongest Brothers’.

2020 brought Luke’s first podium finish at BSM. However with training and competition hampered by the COVID-19 outbreak, Luke was unable to enter Europe’s Strongest Man, and failed to qualify from his heat at the WSM finals. Disappointment at World’s was short-lived, as 2021 proved to be Luke’s best year to date. At the age of 36, Luke took the title of Europe’s Strongest Man and followed this amazing feat up by taking first place at the Giants Live World Tour Finals. In WSM he was close to a podium position, however the extreme heat and the wrong tacky selection in the final event led to him slipping from 3rd to 7th, repeating his 2019 result, whilst brother Tom lifted the winner’s trophy. That same year, Luke established a British record in the log press, successfully completing a 221kg/487lb lift at World Ultimate Strongman’s “Feats of Strength” showcase.

So far this year Luke has gained a podium finish at the Arnold Classic in Ohio in March, taking 3rd place behind Martin Licis and Oleksii Novikov. Luke narrowly missed out on retaining his Europe’s Strongest Man crown, finishing a credible second to Ukrainian WSM 2020 winner, Oleksii Novikov.

Tom ‘The Albatross’ Stoltman

Born in 1994, Tom was brought up in Invergordon, ten years after big brother Luke, and alongside their three other siblings Jodie, Nikki and Harry. Diagnosed with autism at the age of 5, Tom didn’t allow this to hold him back, he was a keen sportsman during his childhood where he developed his passion for football. Inspired by Luke’s success as Scotland’s Strongest Man, Tom took up weight training in the local gym at the age of 16. Within a year Tom was showing such potential that Luke decided to take him under his wing and guide him through training for strongman.

Aged 18 Tom entered his first competition, Highlands Strongest Man which he won comfortably, this was followed by success at the Scotland’s Strongest Man qualifier and subsequently his first go at Scotland’s Strongest Man (SSM) in 2013 where he finished 5th. By 2015 Tom was reaching the podium of SSM, finishing second only to big brother Luke the next three years in a row. 2017 was seen as Toms breakout year, he finished second in the UK’s Strongest Man Competition behind reigning Europe’s Strongest Man, Laurence Shahlaei and placed well in Britain’s Strongest Man (BSM). These exploits gained him an invitation to his first World Strongest Man finals (WSM) where he competed in the heats against former champion Brian Shaw and four-time finalist, JF Caron. This was followed up by taking his first SSM crown ahead of Luke in 2018, and an 8th place at the Worlds Ultimate Strongman (WUS) in Dubai the same year.

Tom’s rise on the world stage continued with a 5th place finish at 2019 WSM aged just 25, and a 3rd place in the WUS Dubai event to go along with another SSM trophy and a podium at BSM. 2020 saw Tom back at World’s Strongest Man finals, this time held in Florida, USA with the aim of improving on his 5th place finish from the previous year. Tom narrowly missed out on taking the overall crown, despite winning three of the six events in the final, a lowly finish in the Hercules Hold event ultimately cost him the title. At BSM in the same year Tom took 2nd place and in doing so broke the world record for the Giants Live’s light set of Castle Stones (100-180kg or 220 – 396lb) with a spectacular time of 16.01 seconds.

In 2021 Tom achieved the ultimate in strongman by winning the 2021 World’s Strongest Man title in Sacramento, California. Wins for Tom in two of the first five events in the competition had edged him into the lead ahead of four-time winner Brian Shaw and it all came down to the final event. The win was sealed with Tom completing the Altas Stone (140-210kg or 310-460lb) run in a blistering 20.21seconds, taking the event win and overall title back to Scotland for the first time in the competition’s history. Tom also took the crown of Britain’s Strongest Man in 2021, which completed a Stoltman clean sweep in the sport with big brother and mentor Luke winning Europe’s Strongest Man in the same year.

Tom has already made a great start to 2022, successfully defending his BSM title and has his sights firmly set on retaining his WSM crown.

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