But it was his quest for Olympic gold in the pool that ultimately paved the way for Britain’s first victory in the World’s Strongest Man for 24 years.
Hall secured victory in Botswana last weekend by a solitary point over Hafthor Bjornsson, Iceland’s muscleman who featured in the hit TV show Game Of Thrones.
The 6ft 3ins Briton’s win could now spark a return to the halcyon days when former winner Geoff Capes graced our screens in the Eighties.
However, the British public will have to wait until Christmas to watch the 29-year-old’s moment of glory, as that is when the annual event is traditionally broadcast.
In the meantime, we can reveal the riveting sub-plot to the Stoke strongman’s rise to become the world’s strongest man.
Eddie Hall secured Britain's first victory in the World's Strongest Man for 24 years
Back in 2003, Hall was lining up at swimming meets alongside Olympic champion Rebecca Adlington as part of British Swimming’s world-class potential programme.
At 11, he was ranked No1 in all freestyle distances, 50m through to 1500m and before long his ever-increasing medal tally caught the eye of tough-talking Australian Bill Sweetenham, who coached Britain for seven years until 2007.
“I thrived off winning, beating records and the attention. I was fascinated with human evolution and progress,” Hall says. “I was looking up to my hero Mark Foster and Olympic gold medallists, saying that I would one day be there.”
However, Hall claims Sweetenham “meddled” with his freestyle technique. “From an enjoyable 14 hours per week, it ramped up to 20 hours and if you didn’t do it, you would be chucked off the squad,” he recalls.
“There was so much pressure at a young age. It was Sweetenham who bullied the swimmers, coaches and ruined it for 90 per cent of the swimmers there. I hated it.
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“I genuinely believe that if he hadn’t come along I would be an Olympic gold medallist, I seriously do. I was that determined.”
Sweetenham was later cleared of bullying allegations, although one report suggesting 13 Olympians retired because of his no-nonsense approach.
And at 14, Hall had had enough. After falling out with his coach, he quit the swimming scene and a year later he was expelled from school, despite being a gifted student.
With time on his hands he joined a gym while being home-tutored, and a strongman career took off thanks to his swimming work ethic.
However, after four British titles, the pressure to win the sport’s ultimate prize – and the 12,000 calories he must consume each day – soon proved telling.
“Being this size and this weight is a dark place,” he admits. “All the organs are under pressure.
Eddie Hall used to line up alongside Rebecca Adlington as part of British Swimming's elite programme
“I want to get my life back, sleep properly and put my own shoes and socks on. I want to be able to sit on a plane and not bulge over two seats. I haven’t had a holiday in seven years. I got married four years ago and still haven’t had my honeymoon.”
He has called time on the World’s Strongest Man but will still compete in the UK. And with his 25ins neck and 80ins waistline, he is considering a shot at a different Olympic gold.
“It has crossed my mind to enter weightlifting and win a medal for my country,” he says. “No one that can put over 200kg over their head. I can do it without any technique. So I could maybe test the waters.”
British Weightlighting was stripped of its funding by UK Sport last year, but Hall remains resolute.
“I’m sure my backers would stand their ground and back me all the way,” he said, “not only to support the world’s strongest man, but an Olympian.”
It would take a brave man to bully him out of that dream.