Hafthor Bjornsson, the former World’s Strongest Man known as “The Mountain,” just won the Arnold Strongman Classic for the third year in a row. Arnold Schwarzenegger (the event’s namesake and host) himself came up to the stage to personally hand over the award and get a word from the winner.
While the two exchanged pleasantries onstage, the bodybuilding icon asked Björnsson about his experience training for the competition. Björnsson said that he trains year-round, but he specifically dedicated 17 weeks to the Arnold event. Schwarzenegger teased the Mountain about his eating habits with the audience, saying that a German word, fressen, applied to the strongman’s eating habits. Björnsson revealed that he ate 10,000 calories a day in order to fuel up for the competition. Then, strongman took a moment to thank everyone who has supported him throughout his journey to become the winner.
“It’s tough you know? It’s hard to be able to do that for 17 weeks. But people are consistent. If you stay consistent, you will progress,” he said.
This message of perseverance rang especially true for Björnsson, who reminisced how he reached his championship status at the event. The strongman started to compete in the Classic in 2011, in the outdoor division. After placing second, Björnsson was given the chance to compete once again after the winner of that division was injured. Although he came in last place in 2012, he eventually made it to become the winner of the Arnold Classic, now three years running.
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1st place baby! I won the Arnold Strongman Classic 2020! 3 years straight!!! Words can’t describe how happy and grateful I am for the support around me ❤ This years competition was so crazy. Just days before the event, we received news that the whole festival was going to be cancelled because of the Corona Virus and then we were updated with changes every hour leading up to the show. Apart from this roller coaster of events that was out of our control, the competition continued and ran perfectly thanks to @drjantodd , and @roguefitness @billhenniger @caityhenniger and the amazing team working behind the scenes that made sure everything ran so smoothly. I was very confident this year that I was going to do well, because I knew that I had put in the work, but I was pushed so hard by the other amazing athletes, especially @kieliszkowskimateusz all the way through to the last event. I am so grateful for the support team I have had working with me for this competition. My coach @australianstrengthcoach making sure my training is on point and travelling around the world for me to make sure he was here so everything ran smoothly 🙏🏼 My nutrition coach @stanefferding and @theverticaldiet for helping fuel my body to perform at the highest level 🙏🏼 My amazing wife @kelc33 for looking after me ❤ my best friend @andrireyr My dad @bjornthorr and mom @ragnheidurmj and the rest of my amazing team!! Lastly I would like to thank my sponsors for having my back always!! @reignbodyfuel @roguefitness @sbdapparel @revive_md @theverticaldiet @kingkongapparel
“Everybody said you’re never going to win this whole Classic,” Björnsson told Schwarzenegger and the audience. “You’re not strong enough. You’re big, you’re athletic, you’re fast—but you will never win this Arnold Classic. Those were the people who didn’t believe in me… I put in the work every single day—and here I am, three times champ!”
Schwarzenegger concluded the mini-interview with strong praise. “I like you, because you’re a great athlete and the world’s strongest man,” he told Björnsson. “But you’re also a great actor and you’re a great human being. So come back again.”
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