A Short History Of Iceland’s Greatest Smitings - The Reykjavik Grapevine

A Short History Of Iceland’s Greatest Smitings

A Short History Of Iceland’s Greatest Smitings

Nanna Árnadóttir
Photos by
Art Bicnick

The masses may live under the illusion that the Icelandic National Team has been defeated in the UEFA Women’s EURO Cup. They may believe our hopes have turned to ash and stone. But the furnace of lava inside our hearts smoulders, and we will smite another day.

“Nothing worked out in our favor,” said Team Captain Sara Björk Gunnarsdóttir in an interview following the final match with Austria. “But we can say that we gave it our all and did everything we could. We tried our best. Unfortunately, it ended like this.” This time.

But the world should beware, for there are many smitings left for us to smite. Indeed, we have smote many in the past. So, in celebration of future smitings that will be administered by the women’s football team at future Euro cups, let’s review a few of our nation’s greatest smitings.

Europe, 1946 and 1950
Wielding an arm as strong as Þór the thunder god himself, Gunnar Huseby became Iceland’s first international sports champion in 1946, when he threw a shot put further than any living European mortal (that year), taking two gold medals at the European Athletics Championships.

“Instilled with the fear of Norse hellfire, the world stage was shaken by Iceland’s dominance in the Beijing Olympics.”

Yokohama, Japan, 1991
The perennially underestimated Icelanders arrived in Yokohama for the Bermuda Bowl, defeating sixteen other teams and taking the World Championship in Contract Bridge.

Beijing, 2008
Instilled with the fear of Norse hellfire, the world stage was shaken by Iceland’s dominance in the Beijing Olympics when the handball team felled many foes to snatch the silver medal, arguably more silvery than gold.

Euro 2013
Making it further than any other national football team in Iceland’s history, the women’s national team eviscerated nation after nation of weak pretenders to reach the quarterfinals in 2013. They chose to show mercy and leniency this year.

All Three Oceans, 2011, 2014, 2016
With the blessing of Ægir, the God of the sea, Fiann Paul delivered a smiting to all three oceans when he became the first person to cross the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans at world record-breaking speeds in an unsupported row boat. A. Fucking. Row. Boat.

Europe, 2016
All who followed last year’s Men’s UEFA EURO Cup witnessed the epic smitings of Iceland’s national team. Even Ronaldo wilted in the face of the divine 1-1 thrashing dealt to him and his team by the Icelanders’ mighty roar.

The United States, 2011-2017
Spanning offices across planet earth, there are woefully annoying co-workers who cannot stop casually mentioning Crossfit. These thirsty wannabes secretly dream of embodying Iceland’s greatness; ever since Annie Mist took back to back titles, we have continued to smite Crossfitters the world over.

What will Icelanders smite next? Eurovision? An International Season of RuPaul’s Drag Race (please make it happen Mama Ru!)? The Men’s Football World Cup? Only time will tell. HÚH!


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