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‘I did it for him’: Luke Stoltman says newborn son inspired his fight to become ‘Europe’s Strongest Man’ again

The Highland strongman said he owes his latest win - and everything he has achieved in life - to his family.

Luke Stoltman said his newborn son Koa gave him the energy he needed to win Europe's Strongest Man. Image supplied by Luke Stoltman
Luke Stoltman said his newborn son Koa gave him the energy he needed to win Europe's Strongest Man. Image supplied by Luke Stoltman

Highland strongman Luke Stoltman says his new baby son spurred him on to fight for his crown as ‘Europe’s Strongest Man’.

Luke – who is nicknamed ‘The Oak’ – lifted the prestigious award for the second time at the weekend after having previously won the accolade in 2021.

But the Invergordon-born strength athlete said this time felt “more special” as the victory came just two months after Koa was born.

Luke and his wife Kushi, 31, welcomed their first child in February, which he describes as “the most amazing feeling” he has ever had.

Luke and Kushi welcomed their son Koa in February. Image: Supplied by Luke Stoltman

Luke Stoltman is Europe’s strongest dad

The 39-year-old told The P&J that the arrival of his son gave him the energy he needed to win the competition, which took place at Leeds First Direct Arena on April 13.

He explained: “Becoming a father is the most amazing feeling I’ve ever had in my life.

“Seeing my wife Kushi giving birth was one of the most intense experiences and I’ve never felt that much energy inside as I did thanks to the power of childbirth.”

 

 

 

The Highlander continued: “He has given me so much energy and purpose in the short time he’s been alive.

“I thought – if I cannot win ‘Europe’s Strongest Man’ for him, I’m not sure how I’d have been able to look into his eyes ever again.

“I did it for him, I’m a proud dad!”

Luke was crowned Europe’s Strongest Man on the weekend. Image: Supplied by Luke Stoltman

‘My wife Kushi is my rock’

Luke said he would not be where he is now without the power of his family and the support of his beloved wife Kushi.

Kushi and Luke met at the gym in 2015 and he explained his career has only grown since.

He describes his partner, who was born in London but moved to the Highlands as a teen, as his “biggest support.”

Luke describes Kushi as his rock. Image: @kushistoltman/instagram

He said: “She’s my rock, the one that holds me and cuddles me when I need it. She’s the pillar any professional athlete needs for support.

“She’s been there for my worst moments, and I’ve been there for her too.

“We’ve grown as a couple and individually. Since she came into my life my career has grown so much and without her.

“I wouldn’t be as physically and mentally strong as I am today.”

‘A life of sacrifice has been worth it’

Luke’s interest in strength training began after seeing a photo of his grandad Dominic Stoltman, a Polish WWII refugee, carrying a large tree.

The strongman said he could not understand how a man could lift a tree so easily, something he can now do effortlessly.

Luke explained he feels “very proud” of himself for having become one of the strongest men in the world and said the feeling is worth the sacrifices he has made.

‘The Oak’ said: “It’s a huge privilege to do what we do but it’s true there’s also a lot of stress and pressure that comes with it.

“I have sacrificed having a normal life, going for drinks, for dinner, spending time with friends, due to the training regime and the strict diet.”

Luke during the competition last weekend. Image: Supplied by Luke Stoltman

But he explained he has “no regrets” and that leaving his job on an oil rig to focus solely on his career and business was “the best decision” he has ever made.

“I did the right thing and I’m seeing the rewards now. Not only has my performance improved but I’ve also set up a clothing business, a gym and an online academy with my brother Tom,” he said.

Regarding the rivalry with his younger brother – crowned World’s Strongest Man three times – he said competing against each other is what makes them so strong.

However, at the end of the day, nothing is more important than the love they have for each other.

He said: “When we are on a show, we are there to win but first and foremost we are there for each other. No one else in the competition has that bond.

“Being so passionate about something and having a younger brother who loves it much as I do is a dream come true.”