Bandpicked: Fufanu pick their 10 favourite Icelandic sporting heroes
“Sports! We’re no good at them!” was the original mooted strapline for this website, before it was replaced by something vaguely related to pop culture. It was shouted down because unlike myself, other members of the Methods Unsound team enjoy a healthy relationship with sport and can make it up a flight of stairs without calling for an air ambulance to rescue them.
Another group of people with a much healthier relationship with the sporting world are Fufanu, an Icelandic dark-wave-trio named after a BMX trick, whose second album is out this week. What’s the album called? The album is called Sports. And that my friends, is how you do a segue.
We previously featured Fufanu’s single ‘Bad Rockets’ in our best new songs of the week round-up last year and the album itself, produced by Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs is a brooding, pulsating mix of new-wave and krautrock that pleasingly stays on the right side of danceable.
A highly recommended listen, perfect for soundtracking the following journey into the world of Icelandic sporting people, with Fufanu as your learned guides. Here they’ll be covering a range of sporting disciplines, from snowboarding to table tennis, via handball, Judo and LazyTown. We’re basically now Trans World Sport with better music taste.
Fufanu’s 10 favourite Icelandic sports people
When we were growing up, Vala became a legend after winning bronze at the Olympics. That was not something basic for us Icelanders. It was just super cool!
Eiður Smári Guðjónsen
The most prolific Icelandic football player today. Won championships both in the UK, with Chelsea and in Spain with Barcelona. Been the idol for so many young footballers and played an important role in Iceland’s success at the Euro 2016.
Jón Páll Sigmarsson
We have many strong men from Iceland. But no one is as legendary as Jón Páll. “Ekkert mál fyrir Jón Pál” translates “ain’t no thing for Jón Páll” has become a icelandic rhyming saying after Jón Páll lifted something insanely heavy and said this sentence. He’s just a legend.
The first Icelandic professional snowboarder. Known for his unique style and being a pioneer in the snowboarder world. He just featured a song by us in his new video, check it out at www.island-born.com
What a legend! Won his first national title (1994) in table tennis at the age of 11 and no one could ever beat him until he stopped… after 20 national titles!
Guðjón Valur Sigurðsson
Still going strong today after being one of the best Icelandic handball player for 20 years. Even thought to be one of the greatest handball player ever in the world. Plays with the German champion team Rhein-Neckar Löwen along with the national team. He is the second in the row of being the highest goalscorer with a national team, with 1850 goals!
Elli’s first thought of great Icelandic athletes. The most successful Icelandic judoka to date. Won bronze at the Olympics 1984 in half heavyweight.
Margrét Lára Viðarsdóttir
An all time top goalscorer of the Icelandic National Team! With out a doubt the biggest female role model in Icelandic soccer.
Annie Mist Þórisdóttir
One of the greatest crossfitters in the world. First ever crossfitter to win the Crossfit Games twice. A true athlete that started the wave of Iceland’s success in CrossFit, including Katrín Tanja (who has won the games last two years) and Sara Sigmundsdottir who has been in third place last two years. Iceland got strong women!
Ever heard of Sportacus from Lazytown? Well this is the man behind him. Twice been the European champion in aerobic gymnastic and then turned in to Sportacus.
Catch Fufanu on tour in the UK this month on the following dates:
Feb 14th – Gulliver’s – Manchester
Feb 15th – Oporto – Leeds
Feb 17th – Nice N Sleazy – Glasgow
Feb 20th – The Flapper – Birmingham
Feb 21st – The Louisana – Bristol
Feb 22nd – Kamio – London
Feb 23rd – Green Door Store – Brighton