The Icelandic handball team recently returned from the Beijing Olympics sporting silver medals (and, yes, it’s a real sport.) This is Iceland’s greatest sports achievement to date and the whole nation is overwhelmed with pride. A proper welcoming ceremony was hosted for the team on Arnarhóll upon their arrival, where the President of Iceland awarded the team with the Falcon Medal for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence.
However, here at the Grapevine World Headquarters, the general consensus is that not enough has been done to celebrate the heroes of the handball team. We really don’t get that many Olympic medals around here. The following is a list of suggestions on how Icelanders can properly celebrate their golden… erh, silver, boys:
1) Due to inflation and a free falling currency, Icelandic money is fast losing its value. This would be a great opportunity to replace the 500 ISK bill with a 500 ISK silver coin. That silver coin should have handball-style pattern on the backside.
2) The faces of the handball team members should be carved into a mountain (Mt. Rushmore style). This could be done in a remote fjord in the West fjords. The carved mountain would boost tourism and thus the local economy, replacing its need for oil refinery and/or aluminium smelting.
3) To emphasize the importance of handball in Iceland, the one area that most visitors to Iceland see, the national Airport building in Keflavík, should be torn down and rebuilt in the shape of a giant handball.
4) The statue of independence hero Jón Sigurðsson in front of the Parliamentary building on Austurvöllur should be replaced with a statue of the team’s captain Ólafur Stefánsson.
5) The renowned Icelandic delicacy, Brennivín, should be sold in handball shaped bottles only.
6) The handball team should be awarded space in the National Graveyard of Iceland, located at Þingvellir national park. They could then spend eternity next to other heroes of the Republic.
7) August 24, the day Iceland won the silver medal, should henceforth be celebrated as “Silverday” and declared a national holiday.
8) Main streets and squares should honour the team with names after frequently used handball phrases such as “2 Minute Penalty Square” and “Free Throw Avenue”. Smaller streets would then be named after renowned Icelandic handball players, past and present.
Iceland’s handball team: WE SALUTE YOU!