Iceland Might Not Have Elves, But It Does Have Giants - The Reykjavik Grapevine

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Iceland Might Not Have Elves, But It Does Have Giants

Iceland Might Not Have Elves, But It Does Have Giants


Published June 21, 2013

Iceland might not have elves, but it does have giants. You’re looking at proof of that in this photo.

The giant standing beside me is Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, Iceland’s Strongest Man for the last three years and the world’s third strongest man last year. I know it’s hard to believe, but we are indeed part of the same species. As far as I know, I’m not an elf. I’m a 26-year-old human that stands 1.62 metres tall and weighs something shy of 50 kilograms. And he is, well, huge.

The author of this issue’s feature article, “Hanging With Giants,” walked into the Grapevine offices three months ago, absolutely star-struck. On his way to work that first morning, he had spotted none other than “Thor” Björnsson getting into his car.

I had no idea who he was raving about when he came in, but in the three months that we had John Wilkins with us at Grapevine, he filled us in on almost everything there is to know about this 24-year-old who hopes to become the World’s Strongest Man at the end of the summer.

With predecessors like Jón Páll Sigmarsson and Magnús Ver Magnússon, who between them have secured more titles than any other competing country to this day, Hafþór has some big shoes to fill. But with their guidance and a whole lot of hard work, Hafþór could very well return the title of World’s Strongest Man to Iceland for the first time in a decade.

Turn to page 24 to read the feature story.

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