This week, in as much of an upset as upsets get, Thor Björnsson, who plays Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane in Game of Thrones, took second place at the 2017 World’s Strongest Man competition, losing by one point to British strongman Eddie Hall.
According to Björnsson, he should have tied with Hall. But a referee called his final rep bad during the Viking Press (essentially an overhead press with a shitload of weight), leaving him a point short on his overall score.
“They say I double dipped,” Björnsson wrote via Instagram following the competition. (His words were, apparently, a little harsher in a now-deleted post). “This would have been equal first place with Eddie Hall, which would have scored me one point higher. I know it’s only one point, but sometimes one point can change the game completely.”
Really proud of my effort in the Viking Press at The Worlds Strongest Man. I completed 15 reps but the referee took the last rep away from me. They say I double dipped. This would have been equal first place with Eddie Hall, which would have scored me one point higher. I know it's only one point, but sometimes one point can change the game completely. Strongman fans out there what do you think? ?
However you feel about the call, that makes 2017 Björnsson’s third time as runner-up, which feels awfully “always a strongbridesmaid, never a strongbride,” and is, we’re sure, disheartening, especially after a strong-looking year (and a weird health scare).
But here’s something to remember: While the 28-year-old has won a bunch of strongest-man competitions, he’s never taken first at the World’s. So while it’s gotta be a real wound-salting to have the loss go down this way, Björnsson’s been at least one of the three strongest men in the world for six years.
What’s more, he’s managed to turn being a strongman — not exactly a millionaire profession — into an incredibly lucrative career for himself as, let’s say, the strongest non-CGI person streaming on television. So let’s take this opportunity to cheer on Eddie Hall, and wish The Mountain better luck next year.