Haraldsson cleaned house yet again.

Written by

Kristján Jón Haraldsson is the champion of the 2023 Strongest Man in Iceland (SMI) contest. The athlete came out victorious in the strength competition that took place in Hafnarfjördur, Iceland on June 3, 2023. It’s a repeat performance for Haraldsson, who successfully defended his SMI title from 2022. According to his personal page on Strongman Archives, Haraldsson can now boast two victories in five appearances (2022-2023) at the annual SMI. The athlete previously finished as the runner-up in 2021, in third place in 2019, and in eighth place in 2018.

Joining Haraldsson on the 2023 SMI podium were Vilius Jokužys (second place) and Pálmi Gudfinnsson (third place). This is Jokužys’s second consecutive runner-up placing to Haraldsson in the SMI competition. To date, the athlete has yet to score a victory in his strongman career, per Strongman Archives, but has only competed in his native Iceland. Meanwhile, this SMI result is the first time Gudfinsson has finished on a podium in a budding career featuring just three competitive appearances.

The 2023 SMI featured eight events, which are as follows: Max Dumbbell, Bag Over Bar, Front Hold, Max Deadlift, Arm-Over-Arm Pull, Mooring Bitt Carry, Block Press, and a Farmer’s Carry and Yoke Medley. Here are the final standings of the 2023 SMI, which had 10 competitors on hand vying for victory:

2023 Strongest Man in Iceland | Final Standings

  1. Kristján Jón Haraldsson — 72.5 points
  2. Vilius Jokužys — 67.5 points
  3. Pálmi Gudfinnsson — 54 points
  4. Gudmundur Adalsteinsson — 51.5 points
  5. Stefán Karel Torfason — 43 points
  6. Aron Geir Gudmundsson — 37.5 points
  7. Birgir Gudnason — 36.5 points
  8. Alexander Andersen — 30 points
  9. Fannar Katrínarson — 27.5 points 
  10. Ólafur Haukur Tómasson — 17 points

To help his case and repeat as SMI champion, Haraldsson won five of the eight events and was a runner-up in two others in a consistently dominant display. Here’s an overview of Haraldsson’s complete performance:

Kristján Jón Haraldsson | 2023 Strongest Man in Iceland Performance

  • Max Dumbbell — 110 kilograms (242.5 pounds) | Tied for first place
  • Bag Over Bar — Six in 19.51 seconds | Second place
  • Front Hold — 37.31 seconds | Sixth place
  • Max Deadlift — 400 kilograms (881.8 pounds) | First place
  • Arm-Over-Arm Pull — 41.95 seconds | First place
  • Mooring Bitt Carry — 40 meters | First place
  • Block Press — Four in 67.31 seconds | First place
  • Farmer’s Carry & Yoke Medley — 38.15 seconds | Second place

The 2023 SMI is Haraldsson’s fourth victory in his last six contests dating back to the 2022 SMI. The strongman made his World’s Strongest Man (WSM) debut during the 2023 iteration, where he finished in fifth place in Group 2. Haraldsson entered the sport’s tentpole event as an alternate after Cheick “Iron Biby” Sanou withdrew on the first day of the contest.

Haraldsson’s continued prowess in his native country might quickly be making him the next Icelandic superstar strongman. That’s because the athlete is also the defending Iceland’s Strongest Man (2022). Provided Haraldsson continues his recent meteoric pace, he would be following in the footsteps of respective Iceland icons in 2018 WSM champion Hafthor Björnsson and four-time WSM victor (1991, 1994-1996) Magnús Ver Magnússon.

There’s a long way to go before Haraldsson can match the rap sheet of two of the greatest strongmen ever. Some of his initial momentum is, however, a positive step in the right direction toward that kind of illustrious legacy.

Featured image: @palmigudfinnsson on Instagram

About Robert Zeglinski

Robert is a seasoned and adept editor and writer with a keen, passionate penchant for the writing craft. He’s been a leader in newsrooms such as SB Nation, USA TODAY, and WBBM Newsradio, with various other content and art production teams, and first made a name for himself in his hometown of Chicago. When not knee-deep in research or lost in a stream of consciousness for a thorough piece, you can find Robert inhaling yet another novel, journaling his heart out, or playing with his Shiba Inu, Maximus (Max, for short).

View All Articles