Game of Thrones “The Mountain”subdued the Beast to take back his crown as ‘Europe’s Strongest Man’at First Direct Arena in Leeds on 1st April 2017 in front of a sell-out crowd.
The Icelandic strongman, Hafþór Júlíus “Thor” Björnsson, otherwise known as the Mountain from Game of Thrones, was diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy a few days before the show—a condition that causes paralysis of the muscles on one side of the face. The athlete, despite looking a little more snarly than usual, seemed unfazed, reassuring the audience:
It may have been April Fool’s Day, but the weights lifted, buses pulled, tyres flipped and stones hoistedat the World’s Strongest Man qualifying event were no joke.
There were 6 events in total.
Event 1 was held at a secret location the day before the main arena show where the athletes pulled an 8-tonne vintage bus across a 20m incline course. Thor was the only man to successfully pull the bus over the finish line.
The second event was the overhead Axle press– a ‘last man standing’ round with a staggering starting weight of 160kg. Only two athletes made it to 206 kilos: rivals, the Beast and the Mountain.
Eddie then made a brand-new World Record axle press of 216 kilos look effortless, addressing his doubters:
Adam Bishop pulled out after his 180kg Axle press attempt with a suspected bicep tear.
Event 3 saw the athletes flipping a 450kg tyre 4times, before dragging a giant anchor and chain back across the course. This time it was Thor’s turn again to take first place.
In the fourth event—an 800lb deadlift ‘for reps’—to chants of ‘BEAST, BEAST, BEAST’, Eddie, the World Record deadlift holder, stole the show with an incredible 10 reps in 60 seconds.
At this point in the competition, reigning champion Laurence Shahlaei unfortunately had to withdraw from the contest. ‘Big Loz’ as he is affectionately known by his fans, told the crowd he had been taken ill a few days before the show and had been unable to eat properly. After advice from doctors backstage, Loz retired from the contest deciding instead to save his energy for World’s Strongest Man.
For the penultimate event, the remaining athletes strapped themselves into VW Beetles, Flintstone’s style, for the 20m car walk. Eddie dominated the event with a 12.51 second run.
The atlas stones was the nail-biting decider. The Beast and the Mountainwere neck and neck, stone for stone, until Eddie fumbled on the fourth, giving Thor the lead he needed for the win.
In true strongman style, the athletes showed great sportsmanship, dramatically tearing off each other’s shirts before Thor addressed his rival:
“I’d like to say thank you to the Beast for pushing me to the limit!”
One of the biggest surprises of the night came from comeback-King, Terry Hollands, who put in an outstanding performance, coming second in the Bus Pull and Tyre Flip and taking third place overall.
Event pyrotechnics supplied by Dynamic Fireworks.