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Hafthor Bjornsson Announces End Of Retirement, Will Compete In Powerlifting And Strongman

The world of strength sports has been notified: Hafthor Bjornsson will return and officially end his nearly three-year retirement from competitive lifting. In Feb. 13, 2023, the man known as “The Mountain” published a video on his YouTube channel sharing the news with the world.

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After briefly recalling his past career achievements in strongman and boxing, the 2018 World’s Strongest Man revealed that he will return to powerlifting first. His sights are set broke the overall world record, currently held by Dan Bell with 1,182.5 kilograms (2,606.9 pounds). Bell set that mark, wrapped, at the 2021 WRPF Hybrid Showdown III meeting. Bjornsson has given himself a deadline to break that record by the end of 2023, but has not mentioned competing in any specific meeting.

Bjornsson’s last meet was in December 2022, where he competed in his own “Thor’s Powerlifting Meet.” His numbers from that event are as follows:

  • Squat — 380 kilograms (837.7 pounds)
  • Bench Press — 210 kilograms (463 pounds)
  • Deadlift – 380 kilograms (837.7 pounds)
  • Total — 970 kilograms (2,138.5 pounds)

If he’s going to break Bell’s record, he’ll have to make serious ground. Bell’s performance from the 2021 meet where he set the current world record is below:

  • Squat — 500 kilograms (1,102.3 pounds)
  • Bench Press — 272.5 kilograms (600.7 pounds)
  • Deadlift – 410 kilograms (903.9 pounds)
  • Total — 1,182.5 kilograms (2,606.9 pounds)

Making the 212.5-kilogram (468.4-pound) difference is a tall order, but the 6’9″ powerhouse legend is confident he can do it.

Bjornsson then announced that his “major, major goal” was to return to his original sport of strongman. In particular, he wants to compete in the 2024 Arnold Strongman Classic held in March in Columbus, Ohio. Bjornsson also plans to compete in the 2024 Strongman Rogue Invitational event. The Rogue event has not been scheduled as of this writing, but has been held in Round Rock, Texas, in October for the past two years.

Bjornsson said that if he achieves his goal of increasing strength, then he is confident that he will have enough strength to start training for strongman events.

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Bjornsson’s next strength-based honor was his induction into the International Sports Hall of Fame. The event will be held during the 2023 Arnold Sports Festival on Saturday, March 4 in Columbus, OH.

The legendary competitor is now a three-time Arnold Strongman Classic winner, winning the title in 2018, 2019, and 2020. He has yet to compete in the Rogue Invitational as a full competitor, but he stepped into their field in 2022 to break his own weight-over-bar world record.

Bjornsson is the only person to have won the World’s Strongest Man, Arnold Strongman Classic, and the World’s Ultimate Strongman contest. Adding the Rogue Invitational to his trophy case will go a long way toward a claim as the most powerful performance of all time.

Featured Image: @thorbjornsson on Instagram

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