Icelander Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson set a new world record for deadlift on May 2 when he lifted 501 kilograms (1,104.5 pounds). Hafþór is a professional strongman and actor, best known for his portrayal of Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane in HBO series Game of Thrones. Hafþór surpassed Eddie Hall’s previous strongman deadlift record of 500kg (1,102.3lbs) set in 2016.
Hafþór is the first person to have won the Arnold Strongman Classic, Europe’s Strongest Man and World’s Strongest Man in the same calendar year. He has been the defending champion of the Arnold Strongman Classic three years running.
Hafþór’s record-setting was little reported on in Iceland, where he is a controversial figure. In 2017, two Icelandic companies reconsidered their promotional contracts with the strongman when several of his ex-girlfriends came forward with allegations of domestic abuse. One of them, Thelma Björk Steimann, also the mother of Hafþór’s child, described years of sexual violence she was subjected to by Hafþór in an interview that same year. Hafþór has denied all the accusations.