In North America Aug 05–22, 2016

How to Cheer on Iceland at the Olympics

The small but mighty nation is hoping to bring home gold at Rio 2016.

With the 2016 Summer Olympic Games officially kicking off this weekend, it’s time to don your lopapeysa and cheer on Iceland as they embark on their quest for gold. This year, Iceland has eight athletes heading to Rio. Learn more about each of the impressive athletes and their events below. Áfram Ísland!

Hrafnhildur Luthersdottir
​Swimming: Women’s 100M Breaststroke, Women’s 200M Breaststroke

Events (Schedule)

Hrafnhildur was born on August 2, 1991. She was 15 years old when she realized she had the potential to be an elite swimmer. Hrafnhildur competed at the London Olympics in two events: 200M breaststroke and 4 x 100M Medley Relay. She graduated with a degree in Public Relations from the University of Florida. 

Anton McKee
Swimming: Men’s 100M Breaststroke, Men’s 200M Breaststroke 

Events (Schedule)

​Anton was born on December 18, 1993. He is currently studying Information Sciences at the University of Alabama, as well as training an incredible 12 times per week. At the 2012 London Olympic Games, Anton competed in 400M Individual Medley and 1,500M Freestyle.

​Eyglo Gustafsdottir
Swimming: Women’s 100M Backstroke, Women’s 200M Backstroke

Events (Schedule)

Eygló was born on February 1, 1995. She was nine years old when she told her mom that she wanted to compete in London 2012. She finished college last winter while training 11 times per week. Eygló´s older sisters are also swimmers: she watched them train and was inspired to follow in their paths. Eygló competed in four events in London in 2012: 100M and 200M backstroke, 200M Individual Medley and 4 x 100 m Medley Relay.

Gudni Valur Gudnason
Track & Field: Men’s Discus Throw

Event (Schedule)

​Guðni was born on October 11, 1995. Since he was a boy, his goal has always been to be a professional athlete. Guðni completed his Electrician Degree this winter, in addition to training 10-12 times a week. His personal best in the discus throw was last September, when he threw 63.50M, which qualified him for Rio. These are his first Olympics.

Anita Hinriksdottir
Track & Field: Women’s 800M
Event (Schedule)

Aníta was born on January 13, 1996. She started training at the age of nine and her goal is to continue competing as long as possible. A recent college graduate, this is her first appearance at the Olympics.

Asdis Hjalmsdottir
Track & Field: Women’s Javelin Throw

Event (Schedule)

Ásdís was born on October 28, 1985. She is pursuing a doctoral degree in Switzerland, where she is also training full time. Ásdís competed at the Olympics in 2008 and 2012. At the 2012 London Olympic Games, she made it to finals and ended up coming in 11th. She qualified for Rio with a 62.14M throw in a competition in Lithuania.

​Thormodur Jonsson
Judo: Men’s Judo +100 kg

Event (Schedule)

Þormóður Árni Jónsson was born on March 2, 1983. He started training judo at the young age of six. When he’s not training (7-12 times per week!), he works in costumer service at Vodafone. This is his third consecutive Olympics appearance. His goal this year is to come in 8th or better. 

Irina Sazonova
Gymnastics – 
Events (Schedule)

Irina Sazonova was born in Russia on September 2, 1991. She trains in Iceland at Ármann. She was 10 years old when she decided to pursue her dreams of becoming an elite gymnast. In addition to her extensive trianing, Irina works as a pizza delivery person, as well as a coach. This is her first time at the Olympics.