Iceland’s Hafþór Björnsson who played ‘The Mountain’ on HBO’s Game of Thrones finished runner-up in the World’s Strongest Man competition in back-to-back years (2016 and 2017) before being crowned the World’s Strongest Man last year (2018). He’s now relinquished his title to 29-year-old Martins Licis of America who weighs an astounding 110-pounds less than The Mountain (50kg).
I’m actually pretty pissed about all of this because the 2019 World’s Strongest Man competition was held in my backyard over the weekend, 30 minutes from my house in Anna Maria Island, Florida, and I had no idea it was being held there until it was too late to attend. I would’ve been there all weekend to watch that unique competition had I know it was happening, but I digress.
Going into the 2019 World’s Strongest Man competition, 29-year-old Martins Licis had never finished in the top three. His best finish was a 4th place overall in the 2017 WSM competition but this year he bested The Mountain (who weighs 110-pounds MORE than him!!!) to take home the crown.
It’s amazing how The Mountain can still make the World’s Strongest Man look SMALL when standing next to him:
When I point out that The Mountain weighs a shit ton more than Martins Licis, it’s not exactly like Martins is a lightweight. The Mountain is listed at 441-pounds (200KG) and Martins Licis is listed at 330-pounds (150KG)…So he’s still an absolutely enormous human.
What propelled Martins Licis to the title of World’s Strongest Man? Let’s take a look at his results:
Event 1: Loading Race
1. Tom Stoltman (39.66 seconds)
2. Mateusz Kieliszkowski (40.52 seconds)
3. Martins Licis (43.87 seconds)
Event 2: Overhead Press—Medley
1. Mateusz Kieliszkowski (23.86 seconds)
2. Martins Licis (27.54 seconds)
3. Brian Shaw (31.8 seconds)
Event 3: Squat Lift—Reps
1. Martins Licis (9 reps)
2. Brian Shaw (8 reps)
3= Mateusz Kieliszkowski (7 reps)
3= Hafthor Bjornsson (7 reps)
Event 4: Deadlift—Hold
1. Hafthor Bjornsson (45.29 seconds)
2. Martins Licis (41.20 seconds)
3. Jean-Francois Caron (38.57 seconds)
Event 5: Atlas Stones
1. Tom Stoltman (10 pts)
2. Martins Licis (9 pts)
3. Jean-Francois Caron (8 pts)
Going into Event 5, the Atlas Stones, The Mountain had to finish in 2nd Place or better or Martins would win the title with his 5-point lead. Martins Licis finished and 2nd in that event while Thor failed to make the podium and the rest is history. The title of World’s Strongest Man has come home to America and it was won by an American on USA soil.
Hafþór Björnsson aka The Mountain tore his plantar fascia on Day 1 of the 2019 World’s Strongest Man Competition so he was fighting an uphill battle for the entire event. I’ve torn mine three or four times and it is ABSOLUTELY MISERABLE. I have nothing but the utmost respect for him for being able to carry on in the competition after that injury because the mere act of walking sucks when you tear your plantar fascia.
It’s pretty cool that these two guys actually train together:
Just some casual training here with 700+ pounds:
“Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.”…Everyone in the Strongest Man circuit is now gunning for Martins Licis’ crown as the World’s Strongest Man and with 365 days until the next competition wraps up he’ll have a lot of work to do in order to retain his crown.
The full competition will air on CBS Sports on June 30th so look out for that later this month and set your DVR! For more on this story, you can visit Australia’s News.au recap.