Odd Haugen’s Tombstone
Odd Haugen’s Tombstone has featured at the Arnold Strongman Classic a number of times in the Stone to Shoulder event.
The stone weighs 186kg (410lbs), it’s large, smooth, and irregularly shaped. Even for the strongest men on earth it’s a massive feat of strength to pick up off the floor.
As the stone’s name suggests, Odd Haugen is the owner of the stone. Odd was given the stone as a gift on his 57th birthday1 — it even has his name and birth date inscribed onto it. A second date will be added when he dies.
The engraving is on the concave face of the stone and reads:
DOB: 1 16 1950
H 6 4”
Odd’s Tombstone appeared at the Arnold Strongman Classic in 2018 as the second of five events. Only 3 men were able to shoulder the stone that year out of the 10 athletes competing — Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, Mikhail Shivlyakov, and Mateusz Kieliszkowski. Mateusz won the event after shouldering the stone four times. Hafþór and Mikhail only managed a single rep to the shoulder.
The stone returned the following year (2019) as the final event of the competition, and the second natural stone event at the competition. Rogue’s replica Húsafell Stone carry being the other.
Mateusz came out on top again beating his previous best with the stone at five reps to the shoulder. Martins Licis — who is known for being a great stonelifter — managed two full reps to the shoulder. Hafþór once again managed one rep, and Matjaž Belšak completed a single rep too.
The stone returned in the 2022 competition, again as the final event.
Martins Licis won the event with two reps. Bobby Thompson and Oleksii Novikov both achieved a single rep to the shoulder, adding themselves to the exclusive club of people to have shouldered the brutal stone.
The event is scored using a points system. The stone is so notoriously difficult for even the strongest men on the planet that athletes are credited with points for lapping the stone, and lifting the stone to the chest.
However, the scoring system changed slightly between the 2018 and 2019 contests — in the 2018 contest, athletes got credit for simply putting wind beneath the stone.
The scoring system changed again for the 2022 event. This time athletes got 10 points for each lift to the chest, and 100 points for a successful shoulder. The 100 points for shouldering the stone overrides any points earned for previous stages.
Athletes get a full 2 minutes and 30 seconds to lift the stone for as many reps as possible. Like most natural stone events, tacky is not permitted to be used — only chalk or a tacky towel. In the 2022 competition the athlete had to lap the stone within 30 seconds or their attempt ended.
Once the stone is on the shoulder, the athlete must remove the opposing hand from the stone to show full control to the referee before they receive a down signal.
There are only a handfull of athletes (that we know of) that have managed to lift the stone to their shoulder — even outside of the ASC.
- Jesse Marunde2
- Martins Licis
- Mateusz Kieliszkowski
- Mikhail Shivlyakov
- Hafþór Björnsson
- Matjaž Belšak
- Bobby Thompson
- Oleksii Novikov
Mateusz Kieliszkowski holds the record for the most reps to the shoulder in 2:30 at 5 reps, which he set at the Arnold Strongman Classic in 2019. He beat his own record of 4 reps set at the ASC in 2018.
Odd’s Tombstone was used in a Strongman Super Series Grand Prix at Venice Beach in 2007. Odd organized the events for this competition, and it seems that this was the stone’s debut in a pro strongman competition.
The event featuring the stone was a carry — like the Húsafell Stone — rather than as a stone-to-shoulder event.
2007 Venice Beach Grand Prix on the Strongman Archives — We previously reported that Odd was gifted the stone for his 58th Birthday. However, the date of the competition (6th June 2007) suggests that Odd must have received the stone before his 58th Birthday, i.e. his 57th Birthday. ↩
Martins Licis shoulders the stone in 2017, remarking that Jesse Marunde is the only other strongman he knows to have shouldered the stone. ↩