The Paralympics are the sister sporting event to the Olympics where high-level athletes with physical disabilities can show their stuff. It’s an intense competition. Seriously, try and watch para ice hockey without being like, holy shit this is extraordinary.
Iceland has won 61 Paralympics medals, all at the Summer Games. These include fourteen gold, thirteen silver, and thirty-four bronze. This places Iceland as the forty-seventh place on the all-time Paralympic Games medal table.
We love you Jón
Iceland’s last medal came at the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London. There, Jón Margeir Sverrisson smited the competition, winning gold in the Men’s 200m Freestyle S14—the S14 denotes the type of disability. After winning, Jón was quoted as saying, “I wanted to win gold for my love.” Yes, in one day, Jón managed to win a gold medal and melt the hearts of men and women across the world. His love, fellow athlete Stefanía Daney Guðmundsdóttir, is very lucky.
Unfortunately, Jón did not defend his title at the 2016 iteration, finishing in fourth just a second behind Australian Daniel Fox. That said, we are 99% sure someone in the game cheated and are starting an online petition as we speak for a rematch. The Grapevine has your back, Jón. But the swimmer is not too fussed–he’s currently training for an Iron Man.
Quizzically, Iceland has never medaled at the Winter Paralympic Games, despite being a cold island with ample ice snow. Hey—the countries name is literally Ice-land. It makes no sense.
In the 2018 Winter Paralympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Iceland sent one participant, Hilmar Snær Örvarsson, who competed in Slalom and Giant Slalom. For you non-skiers, that’s that sport where people hurl themselves down a mountain and try to glide between poles. It’s dangerous af.
Hilmar finished in seventh. Though he failed to medal, it’s important to remember that Jennifer Hudson finished seventh on American Idol and look at her now. She has since won an Oscar. You did us proud, Hilmar.
Read about other things we’ve won here.