INTENSE AFFECTION Legendary strongman Brian Shaw discusses his ‘bittersweet’ last World’s Strongest Man competition and the ‘amazing’ love he has received.

Brian Shaw, the FOUR-TIME WORLD’S STRONGEST MAN CHAMPION, has decided to retire from the competition.

After placing eighth in the Finals on Sunday at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, the 41-year-old said his goodbyes to the competition.

Shaw told The U.S. Sun about his “bittersweet” Finals shortly after Canada’s Mitchell Hooper won the title for the first time in his WSM career.

The experience has been “bittersweet” for Shaw, he said.

You know I worked incredibly hard to get ready for this, and you can count on me to bring my A-game every time.

When I don’t perform to my potential in a competition, it’s quite difficult for me to walk away from the event.

“But competition can be fierce at times. You prepare for it, and it still doesn’t go the way you hoped it would.

And for that I have just ever had to look in the mirror.

Shaw was disheartened by his showings, but he still considered the week to have been “special” for him.

He remarked, “The love and support we’ve received has been quite astounding.

“I think that what I stand for is not just this moment, but rather my entire career and body of work,” he said.

Fans had been chanting his name all weekend, but even his opponents could feel the love he was receiving.

For instance, after his final event, where he competed against Luke Stoltman of Great Britain at the Atlas Stones, Stoltman raised his hand in the air and bowed to the past Champion.

Shaw had obviously been feeling the love from the boys, and this was a genuinely wholesome moment that brilliantly illustrated the fraternity that is the Strongman contingent.

Shaw remarked that the event was “made more memorable” because of this. A quote from him: “That loyalty from not only the audience but from all the guys and anyone here really is… it’s something I’ll never forget.”

And in what was possibly the most heartwarming scene of the final day of the tournament, Shaw was greeted by his wife Keri and their two sons, Braxton and Kellen, who quickly gave their dad a great hug as he left the stadium for the last time.

He was “a very blessed man” and his family’s presence made him feel “beautiful,” he said.

Shaw continued, “I have a wonderful wife. I couldn’t ask for better men than the ones I’m with. And it means the world to me that they can come and see me perform.