A hhhh, the power of the global media. It can make or break anything under the sun and quite easily distort any truth ever spoken.
One of the most popular questions about Iceland Mr. Google gets every year has to do with why so many strongmen seem to come from Iceland. Indeed, for a microscopic population the number of individuals doing good stuff in international competitions and arenas is pretty impressive. The names of Jon Pall Sigmarsson and Magnus Thor Magnusson are well known in strongmen circles the world over as both won the title World´s strongest man in former times and on more than one occasion. A number of other local strongmen have made a big splash abroad and a few up-and-coming will certainly rock the world party in the future.
If Total Iceland was a typical travel information service we would immediately connect this to the energy of the sun, healthy living in clean country with no pollution. We would tell you of our fabulous cuisine no one has heard of and most certainly all the help we get from trolls, elves and other magical hidden creatures.
All that would be a PR-stunt, sometimes known as lies.
This nation as a whole is not stronger than any other and we do not have anything special in our air, food or in magical worlds that enable us to send forth massive Vikings after Vikings to international strongmen competitions. Only some intensely focused individuals with pride the size of Everest.
In reality, what we do have is a tiny population in a country where eight months of the year is dark and entertainment possibilities were limited to the extreme until just a few years ago. Almost Soviet-style boredom. Some embraced weightlifting which turned to strongmen hysteria the moment the first Icelander made some noise abroad.
The real thing we locals can boast of is fat. Icelanders are among the fattest on earth right on the heels of people from the United States. In fact, some studies indicate Icelanders are the fattest in all of Europe. Perhaps this is where the misunderstanding comes from. Fat and not strong.
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