Heiðar Helguson, a 34-year-old Icelandic footballer who plays for the English premiere league club Queens Park Rangers (QPR), was named Iceland’s Sportsperson of 2011 by the Association of Sports Journalists yesterday evening.
Heiðar Helguson playing for Watford. Source: Wikipedia.
“To be elected sportsperson of the year is without a doubt the biggest recognition I have been given in my career. I am very proud of having been chosen,” Heiðar told Morgunblaðið.
Heiðar was given 229 points, 30 points more than javelin thrower Ásdís Hjálmsdóttir, who placed second. Basketball player Jakob Örn Sigurðsson came third with 161 points, Fréttablaðið reports.
A footballer hasn’t claimed the trophy since Margrét Lára Viðarsdóttir was named Sportsperson of 2007; in the past three years handball players have won. Footballers have been given the honor seven times since the award was first granted in 1956.
Heiðar is the oldest footballer to earn the title and only four athletes have been older than 34 when they were named Sportsperson of the Year.
Iceland’s first Sportsperson of the Year was Vilhjálmur Einarsson who won the silver in triple-jump at the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne.