Handball is a sport that is really popular in some parts of the world and practically unheard of in others. I have to admit that I didn’t know much about it until the Olympics last year, when I then spent hours glued to the computer desperate to get tickets for any of the Iceland matches. As it happens, Iceland found themselves out of the final rounds, but the Sweden game that I eventually got tickets for was a good consolation prize. Seeing the game in real life is even more dynamic and exciting than watching it on television.
If I was given the choice of seeing Iceland at the Olympics, or Iceland at their home arena with an all-Iceland crowd cheering them on, I definitely would have picked the latter. And guess what? They just happened to be playing two friendlies against Tunisia when I was there last week.
Unlike other sporting events, the tickets were easy to get, and you could sit wherever you wanted. Seeing the team warming up beforehand and then in close range from a goal end was an unbeatable experience. The matches were also broadcast live on Icelandic television’s main channel! I can now add “Icelandic TV star” to my list of accomplishments – shame I didn’t think to put that on the bucket list.
The only slight downside was walking over in the heavily falling snow and getting soaked despite all the right clothing – an easy way to be marked out as the non-Icelanders in the crowd. (oh yes, as well as not bolting out the door during the last minute of the match to be first out of the car park) And here’s a question – call me crazy, but where can you buy handball shirts if not at the match?? Answers appreciated.
In case you are wondering – Iceland won both matches as expected. If you ever get the chance to seem them, go! I’ll be looking out for them on Eurosport later this month.