UK's Strongest Man competitor Ollie Clarke competes at the Arnold Sports Festival in Birmingham with Sylvester Stallone and Eddie Hall in attendance
Ollie Clarke returned to action in front of a big crowd, a strongman legend and Hollywood royalty when he competed at the Arnold Sports Festival.
The 20-year-old showcased his power as the event, which was founded in 1989 by Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jim Lorimer, took place in this country for the first time.
The three-day extravaganza at the Birmingham NEC was attended by 60,000 people, with thousands of competitors taking part in 25-plus sports and disciplines.
Having only decided to attempt to qualify on the last possible day, Clarke clinched third place in the under-105kg World Rep Log Championships and fifth in the World Rep Deadlift Championships at the same weight.
His goal had been to complete a single rep in the deadlift event in his first taste of competition since a back injury hampered him on his debut at the UK's Strongest Man a year ago, but he managed to do six.
And his sterling efforts were watched by the 2017 World's Strongest Man Eddie Hall – who helped to bring the show to England with Schwarzenegger and Stephen Olexy – while Rocky and The Expendables star Sylvester Stallone was also in attendance.
"It was amazing," said Clarke, a former Bishop's Stortford High School and Richard Whittington Primary School pupil. "The crowd and the competition was great. I
"It was really good to be back out there competing after doing all the rehab work."
Clarke, who lives in Little Hallingbury and trains at Stortford's Koru Gym, became the youngest person to qualify for UK's Strongest Man last year after winning the Under-23 UK's Strongest Man title at the age of 19.
The back problem meant he was unable to show his full potential, but he now aims to qualify again via the under-23 competition at Easter.
Before that, Clarke – who is sponsored by CNP Supplements, Xplosive Ape, CBD One and MGM Clinics – is gearing up for World Record Day 2021 in Northern Ireland on November 21, when he will be attempting to break the under-23 one-arm dumbbell press record.
Busy Clarke fits in training around his work as a personal trainer, with some of his sessions being done at Koru.
To find out more about his business, email email@example.com or follow him on Instagram @coach_ollieclarke.