Today, after a long and arduous journey, Hafthor (Thor) Bjornsson has now successfully deadlifted more than any other human. Beating Eddie Hall’s previous record of 500kg set in 2016, Bjornsson lifted 501kg today while livestreaming on Twitch.
You may recognize Bjornsson, 31, as the Mountain from HBO’s Game of Thrones. The Icelandic strongman was recently crowned the World’s Strongest Man in 2018 and he demonstrated why today. This journey took months of practice and gradually moving up in weight, and interestingly enough Thor streamed many of the highlights on his twitch channel. Seeing somebody lift 501kg, or 1,104lbs for us Americans who don’t know metric, is an astonishing task. Not only is it an amazing feat, Thor made it look easy. While it was probably a grueling experience Thor lifted the bar cleanly and was able to hold for a solid four seconds before putting it down and claiming the world record. This is not the end either for Thor. At the end of the livestream he declared he was going to go for 520kg. While adding 19 more kilograms may not seem like such a lofty goal, remember that this is more than half a ton he’s lifting, and no other human has achieved it thus far. Though I do root for him and would love to see it happen, Strongman is such an interesting sport and truly a marvel to see what the human body can endure.
Thor also, half-jokingly and maybe half-seriously, called out former world record holder Eddie Hall to a boxing match. Hall has had some contention with Thor’s lift, along with some others in the strongman community. With the current lockdown around the world, Thor and his team completed the lift in their own personal gym. Some view it as unfair and shouldn’t count as the official world record as it is usually held on a stage with a crowd. While I understand the argument, I do think it should count. I mean the man just lifted over 1,100lbs it doesn’t matter whether it was on a stage or not.
While nothing yet has been stated as to whether it is the official world record, what Thor achieved today is something to remember and admire. I hope his journey towards 520kg goes well and I will watch in anticipation for the world’s strongest man to continue and strive for the best.