Sports in Iceland

Sport is very popular in Iceland in both its amateur and professional forms. Icelanders are not all about football, although both the female and male national teams are doing remarkably well. The women ‘s national football team is currently ranked as the 19th best national team in the world by FIFA and the men's team ranks number 22. (Click here to discover the potential reasons for Iceland's recent success in this field).

Almost half of the country is a member of a sports club of some sort. 

Iceland’s athletes are successful, especially considering the countries’ population. It manages to compete at comparable level with countries that have 10-200 times more people. Team handball is often referred to as a national sport and Iceland's team is one of the top ranked teams in the world, winning the silver medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China, and a bronze medal in the 2010 European Championship. Among the public golf is a very popular activity, estimates indicate that 10% of the nation plays the sport more than 5 times a year.

Almost half of the country is a member of a sports club of some sort. Sport and physical activity has been a part of Iceland‘s school curriculum for decades and communities put emphasis on hiring professional trainers and coaches for all ages and levels. Sport facilities are generally good. There are ample opportunities for exercise in Iceland, almost every small town has its own sports hall where athletes can train sports in any weather. A multitude of running, hiking and cycling trails can also be found all over the country. Financial support for families ensures that children can play organized sports and incentives are in place that encourage healthy lifestyle activities.

Contact for further information and requests for interviews:
Líney Rut Halldórsdóttir, Secretary General of The National Olympic and Sports Association of Iceland: liney@isi.is


Icelandic football history in pictures (pdf)

Why is Icelandic football so successful recently?  (pdf)

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