Wednesday , 8 December 2021
Colten Sloan competes at the Canadian Strongman Amateur Nationals in Fort McMurray. Credit: Joel Kingston Photography

Lakeland area strongman earns pro status; first Indigenous person in Canada

It’s been a three year journey for Colten Sloan. 

The business owner by day from the Lakeland area recently competed at the Canadian Strongman Amateur Nationals in Fort McMurray finishing second in the heavyweight men category. 

By virtue of that high placement, Sloan was given his professional status as a strongman competitor officially on Wednesday, becoming the first Indigenous person in Canada to do so. 

“Honestly, it feels amazing. Three years of really working hard towards it,” said Sloan. 

“It’s definitely a big deal for me in more ways than just personal. Because it opens the door for more Indigenous people to get involved in the sport. It shows them that we were accepted. And we can do good things. We can be strong. We can make it.” 

From the Whitefish First Nation band, Sloan grew up on farms and was stronger than other kids his age. But his decision to start training and competing in strongman competitions came from other motivations.

“When I started strongman, I had anxiety, depression. I was socially awkward. I wasn’t really able to talk to people. Now, the depression has subsided. Anxiety subsided. And I am a social butterfly. I can talk to anybody about anything, I don’t care, I want to know who you are. Before, no way, I sit in the corner,” said Sloan. 

Colten Sloan. Credit: Joel Kingston Photography

“I just kind of lean towards strength sports. I did powerlifting. I did one meet, but it just wasn’t for me. So I really looked for the strongman community. Because I was like, that might be more for me. There’s more moving, there’s more grip and dynamic things, right. So I hunted them down in Edmonton and I found him.” 

To maintain his frame and strength, Sloan eats roughly 7,000 calories a day over the course of five to six meals. Training out of Optimal Wellness in St. Paul, he says the owner Luke Blackburn has allowed him to bring more strongman equipment into the facility. 

“He even got more steel plates because I couldn’t load the bar heavy enough, so he got more steel plates so that I can load the bar heavier which, what gym owner does that right? That’s amazing,” said Sloan. 

Credit: Joel Kingston Photography

Next on Sloan’s radar is the Arnold Classic Strongman on the amateur side with a few invites available from the Canadian Alliance of Amateur Strength Athletes. A win there gets competitors into the heaviest event in the world: the Arnold Classic Strongman Pro. 

“It is ridiculous. And that is the level that I would like to get to. But realistically, I’m aiming for Top 10 at the Arnold Amateur.”

Sponsored by Misfit Power Lifting, Atlas Inspections, and the Lazy F Ranch, Sloan’s goals as the world hopes open is to be a pro at the international level. 

“I really want to make it to Canada’s Strongest Man first, and then start competing internationally to get my toes wet and really use my pro card for what it’s supposed to be used for. And that’s bigger shows, international travel, and being a professional athlete — really going all out.”

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.