By Evan Balter
It was a long road for Krzysztof Radzikowski on his journey toward winning the MHP Strongman Champions League overall title… over 30,000 miles in fact. He traveled to 12 countries in 9 months as he continued to conquer any challenge or heavy object the SCL put in his way. He competed against well-known and proven champions Zydrunas “Big Z” Savickas, Mike Burke, Hafthor Julius Bjornsson and many others. But nothing seemed to phase the Polish strongman, as his consistency in the top three and his five first place competition finishes earned him the SCL Leader’s Shirt and eventually the 2013 overall championship.
Radzikowski’s consistency was his trademark throughout the SCL session; however he showed that on his best days, he could take on anyone. He began the SCL circuit the way he would eventually end it, atop the podium as he won the first stage contest in Lapland, Finland. His second victory came in stage five of the SCL series as he defeated Vytautas Lalas convincingly in the Czech Republic. After finishing in third in Holland, Radzikowski was back to his winning ways as he won stage seven in Portugal. This victory put him in a strong position at the top of the leaderboard.
He never looked back. After second place finishes in Hungary and Slovakia, Krzysztof won back-to-back events in Russia, where he set the world record 264 lb. dumbbell press for 5 reps, and his home country of Poland in stages 11 and 12. He paved his way to the SCL finals with three more top three finishes in Gibraltar, Lithuania (where he deadlifted a personal best 924 lbs.) and Brazil. Even with top strong finishes throughout the SCL, there were a few athletes still in striking distance as they entered into the SCL Finals in Malaysia in late November. Three-time World’s Strongest Man Zydrunas Savickas, was only a few points behind Radzikowski going into the final weekend.
But Krzysztof stood his ground and once again finished in the top three. Coming in third left no chance for Big Z to make up the points he needed to overtake the overall point leader’s lead. But it was no easy task to claim the overall title. After injuring his arm in the Log Lift, the second-to-last event of the SCL Championship, Radzikowski was on the edge of withdrawing from the competition. Instead of throwing in the towel, he decided to finish the last event and close out the SCL Series in style. Even with an injured arm, he took on a bus in the final event of the year ̶ the “arm-over-arm bus pull.” He placed third, which earned him the overall SCL Series title.
2013 SCL World Championships (Top 3)
1. Krzysztof Radzikowski (257 points)
2. Zydrunas Savickas (193 points)
3. Ervin Katona (175 points)