Better known to many as “Thor” or “The Mountain,” Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson has long been one of the biggest stars on the international Strongman circuit. Since 2018, however, he has truly entered the conversation with the all-time greats, winning his first World’s Strongest Man title (the first Icelandic champion since his mentor Magnus ver Magnusson) and three consecutive Arnold Strongman Classics (2018-2020). In May of 2020, he set a new World Record with a 501 KG (1,104LB) deadlift, a feat watched by millions online and reported in hundreds of news outlets around the globe.
Prior to this remarkable run, Bjornsson had already achieved six podium finishes at the WSM and three Top 5 finishes at the Arnold; to go along with three Europe’s Strongest Man titles. With those accomplishments to his credit and a budding acting career gaining momentum at the same time, the 6-foot-9, 400-pounder easily could have shifted his focus more toward new TV and film pursuits as he reached age 30. But Thor still had unfinished business in the world of strength, and he instead re-dedicated himself to achieving the competitive goals that had eluded him. His recent success has been a testament to that singular work ethic, forged back in his youth in Reykjavik.
Bjornsson actually began his athletic career as a standout basketball player before injuries led him down his current path. Starting up Strongman at age 20, he won his first Iceland's Strongest Man title a few years later, and has since defended that crown EIGHT straight times. Thor's desire to take on new challenges transcended sports entirely in 2014, when he began portraying “The Mountain” in a certain popular HBO dragon show. He also recently appeared (as himself) in the Rogue documentary Fullsterkur, discussing the stone lifting tradition in Iceland and the influence that his childhood hero, Jón Páll Sigmarsson, had on his life.