Strongman Beast Hafthor Bjornsson Recalls Humble Beginnings When He Had to Borrow a Fellow Competitor’s Belt for a Deadlift

Published 02/08/2024, 5:03 PM EST

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Hafthor Bjornsson is not only a world record-breaking powerlifter but also an actor, famous for his role as the Mountain in the Game of Thrones TV series. His physical strength was testified back when he achieved the title of the world’s strongest man in 2018. However not only was his physical strength tested by life but his mental strength as well. He recently lost his child and also went through a pec injury and surgery 9 months ago. Even after all this, he will be coming back to compete at the Arnold Classic 2024 to break his record. But how did this journey start? How did the strongman become what he is today?

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Hafthor Bjornsson recalls his days of struggle

After a devastating pec injury while chasing the powerlifting record, he faced one of the most intense hurdles. Despite that, his passion for being a strongman never dwindled and he is determined to re-enter the competing space stronger and smarter than ever to break his records. He uploaded a YouTube video recently, talking about his return to the competition and this is where he recalled his past experiences and how he began. Bjornsson said that at the age of 22, he had no gear or money to participate but his competitor and senior Benedikt Magnússon helped him.

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Bjornsson said, “I showed up with basically nothing, I owned no belt, no knee sleeves, no nothing, and all the guys were like just borrowing me their stuff. I was going to do a deadlift and one of the guys was just like here use my belt.” Despite that, he competed and secured second place next to his mentor.

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Making a Comeback After 3 Years, Hafthor Bjornson Vows To Shatter His Own Record Weeks Before Arnold Classic 2024

He said he was grateful for all the help and support that he got from his opponents at a time when he had nothing. This is why he is what he is today with his determination and support from people around him. His hardships did not end there because even after becoming a strongman, he had his fair share of mental health struggles in 2020 to process.

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Hafthor recalls his mental health issues

The Mountain pushed beyond his physical and mental limits because being a strongman is not easy. While he was building a remarkable career, Bjornsson said that his mental health was not in a good place. In the Brian Shaw podcast, the Icelandic strongman revealed more about his mental health struggles, especially post-retirement.

“I didn’t give my body a break, I went straight from strongman into boxing. Was probably not the smartest move…I just went into some depression and just like low time for a moment, which is understandable when you put your body through so much, and you don’t give yourself some time to just relax and recover,” he said.

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Despite all odds throughout his life, he has defied them and amassed not only world record-breaking but also a huge following throughout his illustrative career. What do you think about Bjornsson’s rags to riches story?

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Written by:

Tanushree Bhowmick

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One take at a time

I am Tanushree Bhowmick. I have always loved running and sprinting since I was a child and I often took pride in being unbeaten at sporting events in school. The love I had for sport continued to follow me into adulthood.
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Edited by:

Donna Eva

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