Coleman manufacturer makes weightlifting belt for world record holder
COLEMAN, Texas —
Germany, Australia, Spain and Iceland: those are just a few of the places a Coleman manufacturer sends its fitness gear to around the world. But they now wear the title for another world record accomplishment.
Over the weekend, Hafthor Bjornsson, who many people know as "The Mountain" on the popular HBO television show "Game of Thrones," set a new world record by deadlifting 1,041 pounds at the Arnold Strongman Classic in Columbus, Ohio.
He set that world record while wearing a weightlifting belt custom made by General Leathercraft Inc., which is headquartered in Coleman.
"This one is a hippo belt. I don't know if it's done justice being on a camera," Matthew Hadden, President and Chief Executive Officer of General Leathercraft, said.
Hadden's grandfather began the company in 1979 in a small town in Nebraska and Hadden said that at the time, all the company made was weightlifting belts.
Fast forward 40 years and the company has expanded into making other types of fitness gear, which they ship to at least 60 counties.
"I think people actually like us because we're a Texas-based, United States-based manufacturer that's made up by a bunch of normal people," Hadden said.
Hafthor's trainer, who is based in Australia, contacted Hadden in March of 2017 to create a weightlifting belt for Hafthor.
"He reached out and said, 'Hey, let's make Thor a belt. Let's put his name in the back of it,'" Hadden said.
Hafthor also goes by the nickname of Thor and he's only one of several weightlifters who wears the company's Pioneer belts.
"He could've picked and chose anyone he wanted being a top-level athlete and he really stuck with us for it and I think that's really neat," Hadden said.
The company's custom belts have become so popular that orders usually take six to eight weeks to fulfill before they ultimately arrive in the mail.
General Leathercraft has an Instagram account that people can follow by clicking on this link.
Those interested in purchasing a Pioneer belt can visit the company's website, https://generalleathercraft.com/product-category/pioneer/weightlifting-belts/.