25 August 2008

Sigur eða ósigur? (Victory or Defeat?)

A friend of mine, Þorbergur Sigurjónsson (pictured at left with his daughter), came to visit me today in my office at BYU. He lives in Utah with his American wife, Amy, and their three daughters, the most recent of whom was just born two months or so ago (this picture is a little older. Jóhannes his brother is also in the picture). He is getting back into BYU to finish up his computer science degree. He took a few semesters off while he was working heavily but now wants to finish up.

Þorbergur always speaks Icelandic to me when he visits or calls (which I really appreciate). Since I had been so involved with the Icelandic Men's Handball team games during the Olympics recently, I asked him what his family back in Iceland and everyone else thought about the team making it to the gold-medal game. He said everyone in the whole country stopped everything to watch the game and cheer on the boys. He said even the Icelandic stock market closed--probably since no one would be trading or paying attention to their stocks during that time anyway. What a great thing to have your whole country behind you as you defeat one opponent after another.

Everyone was heartbroken when the team didn't beat France, but in the end, how could the Icelanders not be happy with the team's performance. They only lost to South Korea early on (a fluke) and to France finally. So in the end, winning the silver is really a "glass is half full" kind of thing instead of the opposite. The head coach Guðmundur Guðmundsson and the team did so well that winning the silver was as exciting as winning the gold for such a small country. And they were a blast to watch. Way to go guys!


Hera said...

It seems the handboltalidid is getting the falkaorda. The Order of the Falcon according to the Icelandic newspapers. The President of Iceland Olafur Ragnar decided that according to the newspapers. The Icelandic team was also on many newspaper covers in the USA. There is a fun story about the President's wife Dorrit on a web site for the Washington Post about how she managed to get to the team on the court floor without security clearance. I am not sure if I can put a link here so I won't. Dorrit is just like the Icelanders now hehe. Good on her.

Hera said...

It was fun seeing Þorbergur and one of his daughters in the photo. I have not seen him since his engagement many years ago. He looks the same.

Maliana said...

HECK YES!!! oh sorry but yeah they had an amazing run, i called in sick on Friday to watch the game against Spain, they showed it at the movie theater for free it was an amazing experience, the president told everyone here in Iceland to have a þjóðhátíð all weekend, we were happy to oblige. there's going to be a parade with the handball team down laugarvegur tomorrow! it's gonna be great but i can't really take of more time from work for handball :P Áfram Ísland!!