The Mountain Officially Just Came Out of Retirement

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Hafthor Bjornsson, the strongman and one-time World’s Strongest Man winner who earned the nickname “The Mountain” for his role as the hulking villain Gregor Clegane on Game of Thrones, caused a stir in 2020 when he retired from strength sports after securing his tenth consecutive Iceland’s Strongest Man title. After ending his strongman career on a high, Bjornsson committed to a new personal and professional challenge: retraining as a boxer.

Through a rigorous new fitness regiment and diet plan, Bjornsson shed over 100 pounds and sculpted a lean, shredded physique capable of the speed and agility required of a professional fighter. And in his first-ever fight, he defeated his rival and fellow former strongman Eddie Hall in a K.O. Not bad going for a newcomer to the sport.

But now, Bjornsson is making a return to the strongman arena.

After recently announcing that he was “saying goodbye” to boxing and looking ahead to new challenges, he has since confirmed that he is coming out of retirement and is back in training to compete as a strongman.

“One of the main reasons I retired was health reasons,” he explained in a new video on his YouTube channel. “Being big puts a lot of pressure on your heart, and you know I’m a family guy… I want to make sure I’m going to be there and around for them for a long time.”

He added that he was “very happy” with what he achieved in boxing, but he “never really fell in love with the sport” the same way he did with strongman. So when he started to think about his next move, a return to strength sports made sense to him.

“I want to build my legacy in the strength world,” he said. “So my decision is to come back into powerlifting… I want to break the all-time raw powerlifting world record.”

For clarity, Bjornsson’s new goal is to bench, squat, and deadlift a combined weight of more than 2,606 pounds (1,182.5 pounds). “Hopefully my body will be good to me like it was for all those years prior,” he continued, adding that in addition to cementing a legacy in powerlifting, he has another “major” goal that he wants to achieve in 2024.

“After I beat the all-time powerlifting world record, I’ll go back to strongman, and give my absolute best there again,” he said, explaining that his powerlifting training will “translate very well into strongman” once he broken the record, and adding that he specifically wants to compete at the Arnold Classic and the Rogue Invitational.

“Big announcement, big goals,” he said. “But you know, I’m a big guy with a big heart, with a lot of ambitions and big dreams.”

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Philip Ellis is a freelance writer and journalist from the United Kingdom covering pop culture, relationships and LGBTQ+ issues. His work has appeared in GQ, Teen Vogue, Man Repeller and MTV.

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