Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, a competitive strongman best known for playing The Mountain on Game of Thrones, made a serious announcement regarding his health recently. He apparently suffers from Bell’s Palsy, a kind of facial paralysis.
On March 31, he posted a photo of himself looking somber on Instagram, with the following caption:
“To all my dear strongman fans, I have a small announcement. Last Sunday I got very sick. On Tuesday morning I woke up and the right side of my face felt kind of numb. It got worse over the course of the day and then it got completely paralysed. My friends insisted sending me to the ER to get things checked out as they were seriously worried I was having a stroke. I spent a good amount of time at the hospital as doctors ran some tests on me. Luckily I was informed there was nothing to worry about. That I have caught some virus called Bells Palsy which causes half of my face getting paralysed. It can last from a week to a few months apparently. So please keep that in mind if you come to Europe’s Strongest Man tomorrow and get pictures with me that I’m not in a bad mood I just can’t really smile for pictures haha! Other than that I feel good and look forward to battling it out with the guys for the Title of Europe’s Strongest Man 2017 and putting on a great show for all you guys! Bring it on!”
He went on to win the competition. Bell’s Palsy is a condition that affects your facial nerves. It usually only affects one side of the face but can also affect both. It is the most common cause of facial paralysis, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. It is not a symptom of stroke.
Bell’s Palsy is typically a short-lived condition, clearing up after weeks or months. But it is possible for it to become a chronic problem. Hopefully that isn’t the case with Björnsson.
The condition’s root causes are still unknown to medicine, but doctors speculate that it might be related to viral infections such as herpes simplex and viral meningitis. 40,000 American adults contract Bell’s Palsy annually. Sylvester Stallone and George Clooney both had it at one point.
Hopefully The Mountain makes a full and speedy recovery. The virus will probably clear from his system out of sheer intimidation alone.