2018 World’s Strongest Man Hafthor Bjornsson has had a pretty tumultuous month. After winning the Arnold Strongman Classic in March and scheduling his 501kg world record deadlift attempt for early May, his strongman career seemed to be going full speed ahead.
But during the weekend when he made the deadlift — the heaviest of all time — his career quickly moved in a different direction. Right afterward, he announced he’d signed papers to box longtime rival Eddie Hall. The next day (Sunday) Hall signed his papers. Twenty-four hours later, the date and location for their match had been announced: September 2021 in Las Vegas.
Then the next day he made it clear that he wouldn’t compete at this year’s World’s Strongest Man in November, although the reasons why were a little murky.
He’d spent the weekend complaining that he hadn’t been invited, which he seemed insulted by. On a Q&A he’d said,
‘Will you participate in World’s Strongest Man this year?’ No. ‘When will you do World’s Strongest Man again?’ I’m not sure, guys. I’m not sure. The last time I asked them if I got an invite I didn’t get an answer, so like, why should I wait? They can’t tell the athlete that’s been on the podium eight years in a row that I have an invite yet? Like, come on guys.
WSM then made a Facebook post that appeared to be a response:
The 2020 SBD WSM is beginning November 11th in Bradenton, FL. Due to the postponement, no athlete invitations have been sent out. It is currently WSM’s official policy that all active previous champions receive an automatic invitation for as long as they are able to compete. Qualified and other potential competitors have received correspondence with the new dates and probable events.
By Monday, though, Thor had already declared he was spending the rest of the year “solely dedicated” to the boxing match.
Which brings us to Giants Live.
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Thor Bjornsson vs Giants Live
In a new video posted to his Twitch stream, which you can watch here from the 32:30 mark, he was asked, “Since you have to lose a lot of weight for boxing are you done with World’s Strongest Man?” (He had posted on Instagram that he’d already lost ten kilos in his boxing prep.)
His answer mentioned both World’s Strongest Man and Giants Live, a separate company that’s a collaboration between IMG — which runs WSM — and Power Productions UK, which is owned by strongman promoter and businessman Colin Bryce. The Giants Live tour qualifies strongmen to compete at WSM.
“I’m absolutely done, I will never in my life compete for Giants Live again. Never. And I probably will not compete at World’s Strongest Man again, ever (…) That was kinda just like the (last) straw for me, that BS video that Giants Live posted as well, the (last) straw for me. Those motherf*ckers went too far and I’m done with it. I’m not competing for those guys ever again.
I might do the Arnold again, I might. But with Giants Live? Never. It is disappointing, but it’s also super disappointing that Giants Live would do such a awful documentary that’s all based on lies. I’m gonna put up a video soon so you guys just wait.”
Which video did Giants Live post that caused so much Thor Bjornsson consternation? He’s referring to the video below, about the 2017 WSM event, which Eddie Hall posted this week. Hall introduces it,
This next clip in the video is from Giants Live and I believe it’s been made by independent filmmaker and ex-World’s Strongest Man producer Andy Quinn, who’s seen all this drama going on and decided to do a documentary.
This is worded confusingly: is the video produced by Giants Live or an independent filmmaker? Whatever the truth is, it seems clear that Bjornsson understands Giants Live at least helped the video get made — and it’s accrued about two million views in two days.
This overhead event is basically the catalyst for their entire feud: Bryce deduced half a point from Thor for double dipping (jerking, in other words) during an overhead event. That gave half a point to Hall, and that’s why Hall won the competition by just one point, with Thor gloomily coming second. Some people dispute that Thor double dipped, and Thor also claims that Bryce favored Hall to win, given that the two are close friends and that he was Giants Live’s only sponsored athlete at the time.
Anyway, Thor says he’ll post a video soon addressing why he’s so unhappy with Giants Live. Watch this space.
Featured image via Eddie ‘The Beast’ Hall on YouTube