It is safe to say that all men are not born with the same level of physical strength. Not everyone has the ability to push the limits of the human muscle in a bid to demonstrate incredible strength. People who engage in such activities are called strongmen and we have a lot of them who have successfully made a mark for themselves by delighting the world with their physical abilities. Some notable names are John Holtum, Angus MacAskill, Eugen Sandow, as well as Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson who belongs to the younger generation. A native of Iceland, the strongman has an interesting resume, as he is a world record holder, a former basketball player as well as an actor with a slew of projects in film and television under his belt. Let’s get to meet the superstar.
Biography of Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson
Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson holds the record as the current World’s Strongest Man, Europe’s Strongest Man, World’s Strongest Man, as well as the first winner of the Arnold Strongman Classic. The strongman was born in Reykjavík, Iceland, on November 26, 1988. Also known as Thor, The Mountain, Hafþór was raised together with his sibling. The Icelandic strongman began his journey to greatness as a basketball player in the year 2004 when he launched his senior year career with Division I club Breiðablik. Unfortunately, he was forced to retire from sports due to horrific injuries. Prior to his retirement, Björnsson featured in 32 games for the Icelandic junior national basketball teams between 2004 and 2006.
His strongman career began in 2008 after meeting fellow compatriot, Magnús Ver Magnússon who saw the potentials in him. 2010 was a defining year for Hafþór, as the year saw him compete in numerous strongman contests in Iceland which he mostly won. Some of them include Iceland’s Strongest Viking, Westfjords Viking, Strongest Man in Iceland, as well as 5 of 6 events at the OK Badur Strongman Championship.
Despite being a brand ambassador for a company called SodaStream, appearing in several advertisements for them, and starring in a slew of films and TV series, Hafþór is best known for his role as Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane in the HBO series, Game of Thrones.
Even though his net worth is still under review, it’s quite obvious that the Icelandic personality is worth millions of dollars. Apart from the millions he rakes in from his strongman and acting career, Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson co-owns a vodka and gin production firm called Icelandic Mountain Vodka. He co-founded the brand in 2016.
Björnsson’s family comprises of his parents and sister and there is no concrete information indicating he has brothers. The strongman cum actor comes from a family of giants. His father, Björn, is 2.07 meters (6 ft 8 inches or 207 centimeters) tall, his mother, Ragnheiður, also has plenty of height on her side while his grandfather, Reynir, stands at a height of 210.5 centimeters (6 ft 9 1⁄2 inches). Not much is really known about his sister Hafdís Lind Björnsdóttir but one thing that’s obvious is that the Björnsson’s are one big and happy family who has been supportive of Hafþór’s career right from the beginning.
Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson is married to his 5-foot-2-inche tall sweetheart, Kelsey Henson. The Icelandic superstar disclosed on his Instagram page on October 21, 2018, that he and Kelsey have been legally joined together as husband and wife.
Henson, who is originally from Canada, got wedded to the giant in the latter’s native Iceland. The pair met for the first time while Kelsey was working as a waitress in Canada sometime in 2017 and requested to take a photo with the intimidating strongman. Not long after, the actor took his then-girlfriend to Iceland to take her around. Since then, the couple has remained inseparable.
Talking about his girlfriend, Hafþór is currently not in an extra-marital affair. However, Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson previously dated Thelma Björk Steimann, with whom he had a daughter named Theresa Líf. The strong man also had a romantic relationship with Andrea Sif Jónsdóttir but he separated from in early 2017. They met in a gym, became friends, and later started living together in Reykjavik before they subsequently called off their relationship.
Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson and Kelsey currently live together with their dog called Asterix. The canine, a Pomerian breed has his personal Instagram page which is being managed by Hafþór himself.
Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson is not popular for nothing among bodybuilders and the world at large. Although the actor is an offspring of giant parents, he believes perseverance and hard work helped him to achieve his colossal frame. The former basketball center player stands at a height of 6 feet 9 inches (210 centimeters) while his huge figure is complemented by his weight which reportedly sits between 180–200 kilograms (397–441lb).
Hafþór also sports several tattoos including those associated with the Viking culture.