Skip to comments.Icelandic Handball's Finest Moment
Posted on 08/22/2008 6:30:16 PM PDT by Leifur
I think this is the biggest moment in Icelandic sport history." - Iceland President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson. It's hard to explain just how monumental was Iceland's win over Spain was in today's men's handball semifinals. Spain--with more than 40 million residents--had probably played stronger than any team in the tournament. Iceland has 300,000 residents, and has never won Summer Olympic gold. And yet Iceland never trailed in a 36-30 win, and breezed into Sunday's final against France. But that's too dry. When we asked Iceland's Sigfus Sigurdsson to explain what the scene would be like back home right now, he used the words "ape [bleep]" three times. That's more like it. I will bring you as much details about the Icelandic triumph as you could possibly handle, but first, quotes. "Like I said, it was a manifestation of things felt and thought for so long," said team captain and self-identified existentialist Olafur Stefansson. "We have had individual victories before, and we won our first medal when I was a kid in a small fishing village in Iceland, and I remember vividly what a national celebration that was," said Grímsson, the country's longtime President. "But for a small nation like mine, to come with a whole team, and to be victorious against some of the greatest nations in handball, nations that have millions and millions of people? "It's not just a message for us in Iceland. I think it's a message to the entire international sport movement, that anything is possible. You can have young guys growing up in a small country like Iceland. Working hard in their employment, using their spare time to train. And they can come here to China and play the finals. And return to Iceland, each and every one of them, with either silver or gold.
(Excerpt) Read more at voices.washingtonpost.com ...
Here you can read what Handball is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Team_handball
I once heard the story that the US trained 3 military schools in the sport and sent them to an international tournament, not doing very badly. Imagine what you could do if you used more of your thousand times our population in that sport or f.e. real football. I have also heard that some american basketball players have become quiet decent in handball.
I just wanted to share my nations joy with you my american friends.
I watched some of the handball coverage...seemed to be the bastard offspring of soccer and basketball. Okay, but not really my thing.
Congratulations. An amazing achievement and good luck in the finals.
I’m not familiar with handball, but congratulations to Iceland and best of luck in the finals!
Where are the photos of deleriously happy Icelandic women?
Congratulations and good luck in the finals.
Well done Iceland. Good luck in the final - whenever it is. If you win the gold I imagine you may have the party to end all parties.
Thanks for the link. What a language, eh? It sounds great, very strong! The people are good-looking, too!
Handball is the two-fisted version of `raquetball’.
Played in the same enclosed court, where a smaller, denser, faster version of the slow hollow raquetball is fired with both hands from a fighter’s crouch.
Much faster action, handball.
This is the kind of story that makes the Olympics worthwhile. As well, Afghanistan won their first medal ever.
Congratulations! Maybe there is gold in Iceland’s future.
Congratulations! Or, as my translator says, “Hamingjuóskir.” Is that right? :)
I always wanted to go to Iceland, but airfare is so expensive these days...
G8 Diplomat, it is nominally correct to say “hamingjuóskir”, but you would have to “bring me hamingjuóskir”, at least that sounds more right, in this instance saying “til hamingju” is more correct or at least more fitting. This is the thing with those online translaters, they can translate words, but a whole sentence would be gibberish. As radiohead pointed out our language is strong, I just hope it doesn´t sound ugly.
But hey all, thank you all for your kind words and the congratulations and good wishes, now we most certeinly need it, because half of the nation is now waking up at 7 o´clock in a Sunday morning to watch the game, that is the half that went to sleep that is at all.
The game between Iceland and the many million populated land France is starting in half an hour or so, and I can promise you, even though you don´t know this sport, this will be an enterteining game, two strong teems, determined and from proud countries colliding in, just as elcid1970 pointed out, in a fast paced game that is quite selfexplanatory when you watch it.
You don´t have to know all the rules and things like that, the game just flows onward effortlessly for the viewer and opposed to football (what you call soccer) there are many, many goals, often one per minute.
So check it out, or at least who won if you don´t see this in time, best whishes, God bless Iceland and our closest ally, the United States, the worlds bulwark of freedom.
Ps. Our national Anthem (it is called Praise, it is praise to God: