D@mn, how did I miss this? I am now a fan of Icelandic handball, regardless of whether handball should be an Olympic sport or not.
First, we have sharks and Brennivin:
- The seafood-related alcohol beverage. “When we eat the shark we drink this Brennivin,” Sigfus Sigurdsson said, referring to the Icelandic caraway-flavored schnapps that is sometimes called “Black Death.”
“You put it in the freezer for a few weeks so the liquid becomes real thick,” he continued, “and then the way you work the shark you can’t describe it, but it smells awful.”
But it tastes good, right? “No,” Gudjon Sigurdsson said with a laugh. “But you have to do it. That’s just the way it is.”
And then, we have the existentialism flavored with mysticism:
- So yeah, the captain of the Icelandic men’s handball team has a degree in humanities, once considered entering a Buddhist monastery, has read many of the French 20th century deconstructionists and deep thinkers (such as Flix Guattari and Gilles Deleuze), refers to himself as an existentialist (“it gives you anguish, yes; basically existentialism is to say it doesn’t matter whether God lives or he doesn’t, you create your own life, and by doing that you make an example for others”), speaks of quantum physics, has read Karen Armstrong’s works on mythology, and chose for his Olympic reading “Man Without Qualities,” the three-part novel by the Austrian author and essayist Robert Musil.
And magic elves?
“It’s not so much a matter of ‘believing’ in the regular sense of the word, it’s more of enjoying the possibility of it actually existing,” he said. “And it doesn’t matter whether somebody judges you or not for having that possibility in your mind, because it’s a funny possibility and it enlightens your life and makes it more colorful.”
How could you not love these guys?