Whoa! An international sporting event! In Reykjavík! Whoa!
The Reykjavík International Games, RIG for short, will commence tomorrow and promise to be just the thing for local and visiting sports enthusiasts. Held for the eighth time, the annual event sees 500 international athletes in town to compete in over twenty events (these are the events: Sharpshooting, badminton, table tennis, dance, gymnastics, cyclocross, uphill duelling, bowling, Olympic weightlifting, ski and bordercross, squash, fencing, archery, judo, Karate, powerlifting, figure skating, swimming, athletics and taekwondo).
The tournament is held by National Olympic and Sports Association of Iceland, along with the nation’s sports associations and the sports clubs of Reykjavík, and will go on until January 26. Most of the events will take place in the Laugardalur valley, about two kilometres from the downtown area, and are spread over the next two weekends. The RIG website holds the complete schedule of events, along with information on venues and other stuff you might need to know.
The 500 visiting athletes will join 2,000 of their Icelandic brethren, with most of the visitors (107 of them) participating in the badminton tournament, which is a part of the Badminton Europe Circuit and a World Ranking Tournament. Other popular sports for international athletes are swimming and figure skating.
Many of Iceland’s premier athletes be competing at the games, including swimmer Eygló Ósk Gústafsdóttir, master athlete Aníta Hinriksdóttir (who was the junior world and European champion in 800 meter distance running in 2013, judo contender Þormóður Jónsson and sharpshooter Ásgeir Sigurgeirsson. It is worth mentioning that both Þormóður and Ásgeir have participated in the Olympic Games on Iceland’s behalf.
Some rather strong international contestants will be in Reykjavík for the games as well. Some of the biggest names include the Netherlands’ Lelja Strik, currently World Champion in Women’s Bench Press, and Denmark’s Mie Østergaard Nielsen, a European and World Champion Swimmer.
Those of you that are stuck at home can enjoy RÚV TV’s extensive live broadcasts of the event.