Martins Licis, pro-strongman and gym owner, is making his 4th appearance in the 2019 Tachi Palace World’s Strongest Man. His nickname “The Dragon” comes from the fire inside him. Originally from Latvia and representing the USA, Licis stands 6’3” and weighs 355lbs at the age 28. His best WSM finish was in 2017 and 2018 where he took 4th place.
In 2018, Licis was disappointed with his 4th place finish last year (2018). He wanted to be stand on the podium and just missed it for the second straight year. He also finished worse than his rival, Poland’s Mateusz Kieliszkowski, for the 1st time. During the 2018 Tachi Palace WSM trophy presentation with Kieliszkowski on the podium, Licis smiled despite how disappointed he was to finish behind his rival.
Martins Licis (USA) along with Mateusz Kieliszkowski (POL) have been called, “the future of Strongman” because of their tight battles in big competitions. With that, it has been called “the best rivalry in Strongman.”
Licis started lifting stones on his family’s farm in Latvia as a child.
“Working on a farm in Latvia, watching TV, seeing strongmen competing in the farm work I was already doing. At (age) 9, I started training, and began competing at 18.”
As a teenager, Licis overcame being bullied and beaten up for money by 3 older guys when while waiting for a bus. The incident “fueled me to take my training to another level.”
A past strongman Licis admires is Juoko Ahola (2-time WSM Champion – 1997 & 1999). “He was small, thought events through thoroughly, and kicked ass.”