Sports in Iceland

Like in other countries the sports that are practiced here are various. Some are more popular than others, and people at all age take part in them.  

There are three sports in Iceland that are by far the most popular. There is football, handball and golf. The most popular of those is football. Icelandic football is on a high note this year. The national team is doing extremely well in their games, which has led to increasing interest in the game in Iceland. More and more players are leaving the domestic competition to become professionals overseas. This has proven good for football, because it allows more people to get a chance of playing in the major leagues in the country, and with the increased money the game gets for players and success abroad the National Association can build new courses and training facilities. There are currently about 15,000 people in Iceland practicing the sport. That is an extremely high number considering that Iceland has only 270,000 inhabitants. Also, the number of women practicing the sport has increased about ten-fold during the '90s, and the women's league is now very strong.

 

 


Football is the most
popular sport in Iceland


Icelandic body wrestlers


A high flying handball player

  While the official national sport of Iceland is body-wrestling, one could say that handball is the national sport. The national team in handball has over the years been more successful than in any other sport, and there are more professionals abroad in handball than in any other sport. The men's league in Iceland is also considered one of the strongest leagues in Europe. There are about 10,000 people in Iceland practicing handball on a regular basis, and that number continues to increase. In the past 10 years the National Association, in partnership with town communities, have been able to upgrade the facilities to practice indoor sports by building numerous huge athletic houses. Their main use remains in handball and basketball, though.
The sport that has become the most popular in recent years is golf. There are about 2 times more people practicing and playing golf today than there were 10 years ago. This has come mainly because of young kids' increased interest in the sport. Mostly due to superstars like Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia, who have suddenly made it "cool" for kids to play golf. There are about 5,000 active members in golf clubs in Iceland, and there are about 5,000 more playing the sport as a hobby. The facilities have incresed considerably, there are more golf courses being made each year, and they are bigger than ever. The National Golf Association is the strongest one in the country, financially. This allows the clubs to do more for both kids and beginners.
 
About ten thousand
Icelanders play golf



Skiing is by no surprice,
a very popular sport in Iceland

 

Skiing is a popular sport in Iceland. Near Reykjavik , the capital, are three skiing areas. They are Bláfjöll, Skálafell og Hengil-area. But we can only go skiing from January to March each year, some times litle part of May. So the time that we can go skiing is not very long but we use it while we can. Kristinn Björnsson is the most famous skier in Iceland. Last winter he competed in the World cup, and ended 2nd in one of the tournaments. That is the best performance that an Icelandic skier has shown.

Bláfjöll is the most popular skiingarea near Reykjavík, also my favorite. The skiing facilities have been in use since 1968. Ever since, it has been the favourite place for skiers in the Capital area. It is constantly being added to and improved, and a Skiing Centre was opened in 1982. There are lifts, cross-country paths and a lodge. Buses go daily to Bláfjöll Mountains when the facilities are open, from Reykjavík, Gardabaer, Hafnarfjördur and Kópavogur. Snowboarding is a new sport in Iceland, but it has already became very popular, especially with younger people.

Dance has been with mankind since the beginning of time and is a common language of all nations. Dancing has always been very popular among Icelanders. Especially ballroom-dancing where we have gained great success. There are many kinds of dance practised in Iceland, f.ex. ballet, jazzballet, free style, folk dances and cowboy dances. From time to time various dances come to surface and then dissapear again, like the Macarena and the Spice Girls dances. The latest fad in Iceland today is the Mambo nr. 5 dance which has been chosen the dance of the year.

 

Icelandic ballroom dancers have won
many victories in competition abroad

The Icelandic horse is very popular abroad
 

Another very popular sport is horse-back-riding. Iceland is famous for its Icelandic horse. The Icelandic horse is very well adaphtet to the conditions in the nature of Iceland. He is preferably small but very strong. During the summer time we have many competitions and tournaments. Like golf, all the family memebers can go horse-back-riding.

Many people here in Iceland go to the swimming pools. Iceland is very famous for it's outdoor swimming pools. Icelandic swimmers have been doing good in international swimming contest in the past few years, one of our best is without a doubt a guy called Örn Arnarsson and has been very good this year and the last one. In the swimmingpool sport meet culture and it has often been said that the Icelandic swimming pool culture is euqal to the french coffee house culture.  
Icelandic swimmers have been quite
successful in competition abroad