The Icelandic Strongman known as Thor began his career not in the world of powerlifting or strength training, but in basketball. Standing at 6’9”, Hafþór was a hit on the court, and it wasn’t until he suffered a knee injury at the age of 20, that he began to consider other sport and training options.
Hafþór Björnsson met Icelandic strongman Magnús Ver Magnússon at his gym Jakaból in 2008, and Magnús said that Hafþór seemed a good prospect as a strongman – and Björnsson’s personal and competitive records show what a great discovery he was:
For the past three years he’s finished in the Top Three for the WSM, as well as being crowned Iceland’s Strongest Man in 2011 and 2012. His Squat record is 250kg, his Bench Press 230kg and his Deadlift 420kg.
In Febuaray 2015, Hafþór smashed a 1,000 year old record by carrying a 1,433lbs (649kg) 30-foot long log on his shoulders for five steps in the World’s Strongest Viking competition in Norway. An impressive feat previously held by Icelander Orm Storulfsson who carried a log weighing more than 650lbs for three steps before his back reportedly broke.
And if that wasn’t enough, his was cast as Gregor ‘The Mountain’ Clegane in the HBO adaptation of Game of Thrones.