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Two of B.C.’s strongest set to lift B.C.’s first pro strongman show

‘B.C.’s strongest man’, Sean B. Hayes, alongside Kalem Nygren, will be chasing title July 1 in Duncan

People from Vancouver Island and beyond can witness brute force as Duncan’s host B.C.’s first professional strongman championship on July 1.

Sean B. Hayes, widely known as ‘B.C.’s strongest man’, alongside Kalem Nygren, currently ranked as the province’s third strongest man, are two of the 22 athletes competing for the 2024 Western Canada’s Strongest Man title.

The Comox Valley pair are looking forward to participating in the first championship hosted on their home island. Despite setbacks including major injuries, both can’t wait to take on the national stage on Canada Day.

“Last November I blew my knee out (and have a torn PCL) so I need that to be reattached,” said Hayes. “In December, I tore off my pectoral muscle and it was reattached in February. I also had a non-lifting-related abdominal surgery in January that went sideways.”

Experiencing a significant weight loss of 75 lb. over the past year due to his various injuries, Hayes initially did not intend to compete in the 2024 season.

However, when the competition was announced for the first time on the Island, his home territory, he couldn’t resist.

Hard at work ever since, Hayes regained 35 lb. and resumed his rigorous training, despite still being lighter than he was last year.

“Even though I’m coming in with a little bit of a handicap here and there, I’m still competing to win (or) get on the podium. I’m not going just for fun,” Hayes added.

Beyond the competition itself, this event carries deep significance for Hayes.

“The biggest thing for me is I have three kids in the Valley here and they’ve never seen me do a professional show,” Hayes mentioned. “They’ve seen me do local shows as a guest lifter and do little bits, but they’ve never seen me in an actual competition where I’m giving it my all. Since this might be the last opportunity to do so it’s incredibly meaningful that they get to come out and watch me.”

Similarly, Comox Valley amateur strongman Nygren, who regularly trains with Hayes, shared that this event holds a unique significance for him as well.

“I’m considering this (competition) as a lot more important because… being from the Comox Valley and being First Nations too, competing on my hereditary land is a big thing for me,” said Nygren. “It would also be my first time doing a pro show with my son there. That’ll be a big bonus and hopefully, that’ll give me a lot more motivation. My whole family will get the chance to come down so that should definitely give me a home-field advantage.”

Equally recovering from surgery for a pectoral tear, Nygren remains focused on his training to compete at the highest level in less than a month.

RELATED: Courtenay strongman sets new world deadlift record in recent competition

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