Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, the Icelandic athlete and actor who plays Ser Gregor Clegane, aka The Mountain, in Game of Thrones, is now officially the World’s Strongest Man.
The 29-year-old, who has placed in the top three every year since 2012, but has never won, took the crown at the annual contest in Manila, following a gruelling series of events spaced over two days.
He beat previous winner, the US strongman Brian Shaw, into third place with Poland’s Mateusz Kieliszkowski coming second.
Björnsson, who is six-foot, nine-inches tall and weighs in at 200kg, thanked his ‘family, friends and fans for supporting me along the way’, posting a snap of the winner’s podium on Instagram.
THE WORLD’S STRONGEST MAN 2018! . . Want to thank all of my family, friends and fans for supporting me along the way. . Special thanks to my coach @australianstrengthcoach and my nutritionist @stanefferding . . Also want to thank my sponsors, @kjotkompani @sbdapparel @roguefitness . . Congratulations to @kieliszkowskimateusz and @shawstrength for their second and third finishes! . #numberone
A post shared by Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson (@thorbjornsson) on May 6, 2018 at 4:11am PDT
It makes him the first athlete to win the World’s Strongest Man, the Arnold Strongman Classic, the contest created by Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Europe’s Strongest Man all in the same year.
After qualifying in his group contests, he went on to win the Overhead Press and the Loading Race in the finals to grab 51.5 points, to Kieliszkowski’s 45 points.
Among the other events were the Atlas Stones, the Car Deadlift and the Truck Pull.
A former basketball player, he is already a world record holder, successfully deadlifting 472kg in March this year.
British strongman Eddie ‘The Beast’ Hall was quick to congratulate him on the win.
“From one champion to another….Well done @thorbjornsson well deserved win!!!” he posted on Instagram.
A post shared by Eddie hall (@eddiehallwsm) on May 6, 2018 at 2:01am PDT
Björnsson has played Ser Gregor ‘The Mountain That Rides’ Clegane in Game of Thrones since season four, in which he played a pivotal role in the memorable – and memorably violent – episode The Mountain and the Viper.