You can imagine my surprise to find that the Atlantic nation of Iceland (ICE) earned numerous Olympic medals across the history of the Modern Games, but not one medal was in a Winter sport!
According to the IOC directory of national Olympic committees, Iceland did well earning medals in Beijing, LA84, Melbourne '56 and Sydney 2000. Several summer Iceland Olympic memories come to mind.
First, in the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Village at Georgia Tech, my colleagues and I ("Village People") often commented that the athletes of Iceland House (situated in what is now a sorority house near Bobby Dodd Stadium) were unanimously the most gorgeous people in the Olympics. I ran into one of the Atlanta Olympic athletes from Iceland in 2004, on the metro rail to Beach Volleyball, and she was just as beautiful at the latter Games as in '96.
Also, during the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympic Games, several of the athletes participated in an early version of chat rooms, and one athlete who wrote back to me was a skier from Iceland who had one of those dreamy, umlaut-infused names like the Icelandic woman in the outstanding Robert Altman film "The Player." She, too, was a bombshell beauty. We finally met in person at Iceland House in downtown Salt Lake in 2002 (I was biting my wrist like the Lenny & Squiggy on "Laverne & Shirley" credits).
No Iceland post would be complete without mentioning Bjork's performance at the 2004 Athens Olympic Opening Ceremonies.
There is not yet much info on the team that Iceland will field for Vancouver, but no doubt they will make an impression in the new Olympic City next year. Get to know an NOC: Iceland. And look out for your opportunity to meet Sumicelandicgudmansdottir.
Photo via the Iceland National Olympic Committee site and via this Bjork fan site.