It’s difficult to ignore the impression the man they call ‘The Mountain’ is making in the world of Strongman, you notice his 6’9”, 200kg frame from the moment he walks on the stage…and then he lifts! With all that the man delivers in stature, he well and truly does it justice in application. From the recent record he set during the Viking strongman competition in Iceland where he broke a 1000 year old record, right through to the Arnold yesterday, Thor really does steal the show.
Head to head battle
The two guys that took the stage for the ‘Weight- over bar’ contest were Mike Zolkiewicz and the aforementioned Hafthor Bjornsson. Lori Kutzman of The Columbus Dispatch explained how many spectators were highly intimidated by this event, not least because of the two men that got up to compete. He describes Thor as being ‘so big it seemed like a joke’, and then there was the small matter of hurling a 56 pound weight nearly 20 feet in the air to clear a bar. This came with the very real risk of plummeting back onto the athlete, or worse still bouncing off into the audience, but mercifully all was fine with both athletes showing incredible strength and athleticism.
Zolkiewicz just fell short
With all the support and energy transferred from the crowd, Zolkiewicz was able to lob the weight well clear of the bar, but despite this immense feat of strength he was not cleared because it failed to pass over the bar. Shame because the strength was there. However, this left the door open for Thor, who despite feeling sore after a competition a few days before was able to clear the bar with no trouble at all. A new wold record was on the cards, and Thor allowed the adjudicators to raise the bar for his world record breaking attempt…but to his better judgement, Thor did what he had to and simply beat Zolkiewicz’s height, and then decided to preserve his body and the existing record until next time. With all this being said, it came as no surprise that ‘The Mountain’ dominated this event, his height and sheer power is an advantage, but one he utilises to the fullest in that he manages to get it right when it matters, whereas Zolkiewicz was agonisingly close…but close doesn’t win you competitions.
The Columbus Dispatch, (2015). 'The Mountain' reaches new heights at Arnold Classic. Retrieved 9th March, 2015, from http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2015/03/08/arnold-strongman-story.html