Hafthor “Thor” Björnsson is truly a man who lives by his own creed: “You don’t get to be the best unless you dedicate yourself to what you are doing.” Known to many as Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane in HBO’s global smash hit show “Game of Thrones”, Thor is much more than just a beast of a man. He’s a well-rounded athlete, elite strongman competitor, multi-time World’s Strongest Man and Arnold Strongman Classic champion, deadlift world record holder, husband, and father.
Born and raised in Reykjavik, Iceland, Thor demonstrated athletic promise from a young age. A standout basketball player in his teens, Thor would go on to play for several semi-professional teams in Iceland until an ankle injury forced him to retire at age 20. At 6’ 9” and over 400 pounds, Thor knew he had the drive and physical prowess to succeed as an athlete, but it wasn’t until a chance meeting with legendary Icelandic Strongman Magnus Ver Magnusson in 2008 that the idea began to take shape. Ver Magnusson recognized Thor’s potential as a strongman and mentored him as he took up training for what was still a fledgling, but growing sport.
Leveraging his incredible size and power, Thor’s impact on the sport was swift and profound. He began winning events in 2010, including Strongest Man in Iceland, among others. From there, his ascendence to the top of the sport was nothing short of meteoric. He amassed an impressive trophy case of accolades throughout his 10 years of strongman competition, including several European and Icelandic championships, eight World’s Strongest Man podium finishes (including a win in 2018), and repeated Arnold Strongman Classic championships in 2018, 2019, and 2020. He’s also the first person to have won the Arnold Strongman Classic, Europe’s Strongest Man, and World’s Strongest Man in the same calendar year (2018). After successfully defending his title, Thor became only the second person to win three Arnold Strongman Classic titles in a row (2018, 2019 and 2020) after Zydrunas Savickas. In addition to the accolades, Thor lays claim to an impressive number of world records, including breaking the world deadlift record on May 2, 2020 with an astounding 1,105 lb lift.
With such an imposing physical presence and innate charisma, Hollywood soon came calling. In 2013 Thor landed the opportunity of a lifetime when he was cast in his first major acting role as Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane in HBO’s hit television show Game Of Thrones, appearing in the role for four seasons through its finale in 2019.
Even 10 years into competition, Thor shows no signs of slowing down. With a burgeoning Hollywood career, more strength records to break, and a new role as husband to his longtime partner Kelsey to celebrate, Thor still has plenty of potential to achieve. In terms of future challenges, Thor has demonstrated his trademark versatility in focusing on boxing as the next stage of his fitness evolution, including a debut fight with fellow strongman competitor Eddie “The Beast” Hall in Fall 2020. Ever the competitor, Thor has become laser-focused in pursuit of this latest challenge, and we know he will approach it with the same discipline and dedication with which he approaches everything he encounters.
Champions + Legends is proud to partner with a true icon in his sport. We can’t wait to see how much further he can climb and are proud to have the opportunity to support him along the way.