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Martins Licis (born September 28, 1990) is a Latvian-born American professional strongman, notable for winning the 2019 World’s Strongest Man competition. In 2019 Licis came second in the Arnold Strongman Classic and first in the World Strongest Man 2019 competition.
Licis in March 2017
|Native name||Mārtiņš Līcis|
|Born||September 28, 1990|
|Height||6 ft 3 in (191 cm)|
|Weight||331 lb (150 kg)|
|Representing United States|
|World's Strongest Man|
|6th||2016 World's Strongest Man|
|4th||2017 World's Strongest Man|
|4th||2018 World's Strongest Man|
|1st||2019 World's Strongest Man|
|Arnold Strongman Classic|
|America's Strongest Man|
|1st||2017 Ultimate Strongman Summermania|
In 2015 Martins placed first in the Odd Haugen All-American Strength Classic. In 2016 Martins reached World's Strongest Man finals for the first time and placed sixth. He placed fourth in the World’s Strongest Man finals in 2017 and 2018. Besides Strongman, Martins Licis also competes in MAS Wrestling, a variation of stick wrestling. He won gold in the 2016 MAS Wrestling Open World Championships in Columbus Ohio. Licis first pro triumph came in 2017 at the Ultimate Strongman Summermania, winning the competition representing his home country Latvia.
In 2019 Licis came in second during the Arnold Strongman Classic, placing behind current and 2x champion Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson. In June 2019, he upset the strongman world and won his first World’s Strongest Man title, beating out Bjornsson, who came in third after injuring his left plantar fascia. Martins also placed ahead of Mateusz Kieliszskowski, who placed second, and 4 times World's Strongest Man winner Brian Shaw, who placed eighth after injuring his hamstring competing alongside Licis in the Arnold Strongman Classic earlier in March of the same year.
Martins Licis was born in Latvia to Latvian parents. He holds a Latvian passport and speaks Latvian fluently but represents America as he grew up there. He moved to America at the age of 4 and grew up in Amherst, Massachusetts. During summers Martins used to visit his grandparents' farm in Latvia where he was first introduced to stone lifting by his grandfather, a Latvian sculptor, Imants Līcis.
At the age of 20 he moved to California, where strongman legend Odd Haugen took him under his wing. Licis works as a personal trainer and part gym owner when not competing.
Upon arrival in California, Licis began training at strongman competitor Odd Haugen's strongman gym, eventually becoming part-owner. The gym is called the Training Hall in Thousand Oaks, CA. Haugen was one of Licis' idols growing up, and Licis did not initially know that Haugen owned the gym and operated the competition he was interested in competing at. While Haugen initially told Licis he was not strong enough to compete, after training at Haugen's gym for 4 years, Haugen allowed Licis to compete in his show (2015), which he won.