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World’s strongest man lifts new record

Jake Lambourne, May 4, 2020 6:45PM The Sun

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Hafthor Bjornsson, who played “The Mountain” in the Game of Thrones medieval fantasy series has set a world record by deadlifting 501kg. media_cameraHafthor Bjornsson, who played “The Mountain” in the Game of Thrones medieval fantasy series has set a world record by deadlifting 501kg.


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A man known as Thor and The Mountain has broken the world deadlift* record after successfully lifting an incredible 501kg.

Actor and athlete Hafthor Julius Bjornsson, who plays the character called The Mountain on fantasy TV series Game of Thrones made the lift look easy.

The previous record was held by UK star Eddie Hall, who became the first man to lift 500kg back in 2016.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the man known as Thor completed the record lift at his gym in his home country of Iceland.

This caused some controversy*, as world record lifts are usually completed during competitions.

But the lift — with a standard deadlift barbell — was sanctioned*, with respected strongman* official Magnus Ver Magnusson refereeing the attempt.

After two successful warm-up lifts of 420kg and 460kg, Thor then managed to lift 501kg — 1kg higher than Hall’s record.

If you’re having trouble imagining how heavy that is, it’s about the weight of a full-size polar bear. Or add up all the weights of the people in your family to see how that compares.

media_cameraHafthor Julius Bjornsson of Iceland rests before the Max Overhead competition of the 2018 World’s Strongest Man titles in 2018. Picture: AFP

Commenting on his record, a delighted Thor said: “I’m absolutely speechless, so happy and thankful. Blessed. Everything went according to plans, I’m over the moon.

“I believe today I could’ve done more, but what’s the point? I’m happy with this.”

Thor then challenged Hall to a boxing match some time in the future.

Asked what else he’ll do in the future he said: “Wow … something new and big!

This story was first published on The Sun and is republished with permission.

The Mountain from Game of Thrones. Picture: HBO media_cameraAs The Mountain from Game of Thrones. Picture: HBO


  • deadlift: a type of weight lift with a barbell from the floor, to the person’s hips and back to the floor. The person is bent at the hips with their upper body parallel to the floor
  • controversy: involving disagreement
  • sanctioned: given official approval
  • strongman: an athlete who competes in the different types of strength competitions


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  1. What are two other names Hafthor Julius Bjornsson is known by?
  2. Why did he set the record in his home gym?
  3. What did he do to warm up?
  4. How much heavier was Thor’s lift than the previous record?
  5. What is Thor challenging Eddie Hall to do?


1. Front Page Story
The local newspaper in Hafthor Julius Bjornsson’s hometown wants to feature a story about his magnificent feat and you are the lead reporter. Armed with the information in this article, you need to interview Mr Bjornsson for some more information about himself and his training routine. Write 3-5 questions that you could ask Mr Bjornsson to gain more information about him.

In a newspaper and on the homepage of Kids News, the headline is often followed by a standfirst, which is a block of text that introduces the story in just a sentence or two.

Write a headline and standfirst for the article you will write that can be splashed across the front of the newspaper to catch people’s interest based on the information.

Time: allow 20 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Health and Physical Education

2. Extension
How heavy is 501kg?

501kg sounds like an awfully heavy load to lift but it is hard to imagine just how heavy that is. You may need a calculator to help you solve these equations.

Find out …

How many of you would weigh 501kg?

Weigh yourself. Record your weight to the nearest kilogram. Divide 501 by your weight. This is how many of you it would take to be the same weight as what he lifted.

How many cans of _______ would weigh 501kg?

Find a can from the kitchen cupboard. How much does it weigh? Record the weight in kilograms. (You may have to use decimals.) Divide 501kg by the weight of the can in kg. This is how many cans of _____ is the same as what he lifted.

Mr Bjornsson had two other lifts that day. How many of you and the can would weigh the same as Mr Bjornsson’s other two lifts?

Where would 501kg fit on a number line alongside these other weights? (you will need to look up the average weights of the animals – Type average weight of ____ into your search engine)

Draw a number line showing where all these weights would sit.

  • 501kg Barbell
  • Your weight
  • Average weight of a great white shark
  • Average weight of an African elephant.
  • Average weight of a giant panda.
  • Average weight of a polar bear

Time: allow 30 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Mathematics, Health and Physical Education

Proper Noun Police
A proper noun is a noun that names a particular person, place or thing. It always has a capital letter.

How many proper nouns can you find within this article? Find them all and sort them into the category of name, place, time (date/month).

Can you find any proper nouns included in your writing?

What are they?

Can you sort them into their categories?

HAVE YOUR SAY: What world record would you like to set?
No one-word answers. Use full sentences to explain your thinking. No comments will be published until approved by editors.

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