Mikael Lindnord: Where is Arthur the King’s Michael Light Now?

Image Credit: Helena Lindnord/Wikimedia Commons

Simon Cellan Jones’ biographical film ‘Arthur the King’ revolves around the heartwarming relationship between the adventure racer Michael Light and Arthur, a stray dog he meets during a championship race. Light is a fictionalized version of Swedish racer Mikael Lindnord, whose life turned around when he met a stray dog in Ecuador while participating in the 430-mile Adventure Racing World Championship. After realizing that the dog needed specialized medical attention, Lindnord took him to Sweden, where Arthur became a part of the racer’s family. Around a decade later, Lindnord continues to spread the goodness of his beloved dog through varying mediums!

The Union With the King

While participating in the 2014 Adventure Racing World Championship, Mikael Lindnord didn’t have to prove his worth as an adventure racer like Michael Light. Unlike the film’s depiction, Lindnord had already led a team to victory in an international ARWS event held in Costa Rica in 2010, becoming the captain of the first Swedish team to achieve this feat. Even though the stakes are dramatized in the movie, the effort the Swedish racer had to put into the race in 2014 wasn’t any lesser. While displaying his resilience on the racing trail, he happened to see a stray dog that demanded attention, especially since the latter had an infected wound on his back.

Image Credit: Helena Lindnord/Wikimedia Commons

Lindnord was kind enough to offer food to the dog in misery. “I had just opened a food pack when I saw a scruffy, miserable dog in the corner of my eye. I thought he was hungry and gave him a meatball. Then I thought no more of it,” he said to The Times. Then, as seen in the movie, the dog followed Lindnord’s Swedish team. Even though he didn’t save the group from a cliff, a fictional detail integrated into the narrative by screenwriter Michael Brandt, the dog had become immensely attached to the racer and his team and earned the name, Arthur.

Even when Lindnord and his group left Arthur to embark on 36-mile coastal kayaking, he wasn’t ready to bid adieu to the humans. He entered the water, leaving Lindnord no choice but to accept him as the fifth member of his team. In the film, Michael loses the championship because he prioritizes the dog’s safety and finishes in second place. However, in reality, Lindnord’s team didn’t become the runner-up. They were finished in the 12th place. The result didn’t make the racer leave the country in sadness. “I came to Ecuador to win the World Championship. Instead, I got a new friend,” he added.

Mikael Lindnord is a Celebrated Author Now

In the film, Michael Light bids adieu to the racing tracks after uniting with Arthur. However, that wasn’t what happened in Mikael Lindnord’s life. He competed in the 2015 Adventure Racing World Championship held in Brazil. He retired from adventure racing in the same year. For the next five years, he spent his life with Arthur and his family, formed by his wife, Helena Lindnord, and their children, Philippa Lindnord and Thor Lindnord. In 2016, he became an author with the publication of his memoir, ‘Arthur – The Dog Who Crossed the Jungle to Find a Home,’ a book he wrote with Val Hudson, which eventually became the source text of the Mark Wahlberg film.

In 2017, Lindnord published the sequel to his memoir, titled ‘Arthur and Friends: The Incredible Story of a Rescue Dog, and How Our Dogs Rescue Us.’ In 2020, he had to bid adieu to Arthur, who passed away due to a malignant tumor on December 8, 2020. “Your life was bigger than life itself and I still see and hear you everywhere in the house. You had a heart that was bigger than most. Your soul was beautiful and pure,” the retired racer wrote about his beloved canine companion after the latter’s demise. A few weeks later, Lindnord became a part of the production crew of ‘Arthur the King’ to oversee the adventure scenes in the movie and ensure authenticity.

Wahlberg and the rest of the principal cast members were trained by Lindnord, who accompanied them in the Dominican Republic, one of the main filming locations of the project. “I wanted the movie to look real, and I trained the actors so they moved and acted like adventure racers. We did it for real,” the former racer told ARWS. Before the film’s release, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame of Adventure Racing World Series. “It was definitely a highlight for me to be in the Hall of Fame and I am very proud and grateful to share this with a lot of very good endurance athletes,” he added about getting honored by ARWS.

Lindnord continues to honor the legacy of Arthur through his foundation, “Arthur Foundation.” The organization was initially formed to support Ecuador’s LOBA law or Organic Law of Animal Welfare, which went into effect on April 12, 2018. Since then, the foundation has been collaborating with several similar organizations such as Svenska Djurfonden and Lord Guau. In the last month, the foundation teamed up with TqPets to distribute thirty tons of dog food in Ecuador. Lindnord’s current hobbies mainly include ice hockey. In the 2019 and 2020 seasons, he played the sport with Svedjeholmens A-lag. In 2023, he organized Höga Kusten Pond Hockey.

Even though Lindnord doesn’t race anymore, he hasn’t completely stayed away from the tracks and trails. He took part in the 2022 and 2023 AR World Championships to lead a media team following the Swedish Armed Forces Adventure Team. February 21, 2024, Lindnord published his latest book, ‘Young Arthur: Inspired by the True Story of Arthur, the Rescue Dog,’ co-wrote by Val Hudson and illustrated by Kamilla Åhlander. He participates in several events related to his multiple books or the film ‘Arthur the King’ to spread his love for Arthur and animals in general. He currently resides in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden.

Read More: Arthur the King: The True Story of a Dog’s Odyssey