President Presents Optimism Award, Invests Twelve With Order of Falcon Skip to content

President Presents Optimism Award, Invests Twelve With Order of Falcon

By Gréta Sigríður Einarsdóttir

Photo: via President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson presents writer and poet Fríða Ísberg with the 2022 Icelandic Optimism Award. .

Twelve people were invested with the order of the Falcon at a reception at the Bessastaðir presidential residence on New Year’s Day. Shortly before Christmas, the order council passed a motion to present the badge in the same manner regardless of the recipient’s gender. A day later, President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson awarded the Icelandic Optimism Award to poet and writer Fríða Ísberg.

Until now, women invested with the Order of the Falcon have worn a knight’s cross or a grand knight’s cross on a bow but men on a ribbon. On December 5, 2021, the order council passed President of Iceland’s Guðni Th. Jóhannesson’s motion to make the ribbon the same for people of all genders.

All recipients now wear Iceland’s Order of the Falcon on a ribbon, regardless of gender.

The order is Iceland’s only order of chivalry, founded by King Christian x of Denmark, grandfather to the current queen of Denmark, in 1921 when he and queen Alexandrine visited Iceland. It was created and presented for the first time on July 3. With the foundation of the Republic of Iceland in 1944, the President of Iceland became the Grand Master of the Order of the Falcon.

The Icelandic Optimism Award was formerly known as Brøste’s Optimism Award, founded by the Danish Peter Brøste in 1981. Fríða has worked as a writer for a long time despite her young age. Fríða was nominated for the Nordic Literary Prize for her first short story collection, and despite only publishing her debut novel Merking a few months ago, her books already have been or are set to be translated into 14 different languages.

The twelve people invested with the Order of the Falcon on January 1, 2022:

  1. Professor Áslaug Geirsdóttir, Reykjavík, for her work in the field of geology and climate research.
  2. Bjarni Felixson, former sports reporter, Reykjavík, for his work in the field of sports, social affairs, and communication.
  3. Writer Gerður Kristný Guðjónsdóttir, Reykjavík, For her contribution to Icelandic literature.
  4. Entrepreneur Haraldur Ingi Þorleifsson, Reykjavík, for his work in the field of innocation and social affairs.
  5. Education Specialist Jóhanna Guðrún Kristjánsdóttir, Flateyri, for her contribution to education and culture in her region.
  6. Family Physician Katrín Fjeldsted, Reykjavík, for her contribution to healthcare and social affairs in addition to her public service.
  7. Designer Kristín Þorkelsdóttir, Kópavogi, for her pioneering work in the field of design and contribution to art.
  8. Ólafía Jakobsdóttir, former mayor, Kirkjubæjarklaustur, for ehr work in the field of nature conservation and cultural affairs in her region.
  9. Musician and composer Sigurður Flosason, Reykjavík, for his contribution to jazz music and work in music education.
  10. Professor emeritus and Head Civil Engineer Sigurjón Arason, Kópavogur, for research and development in seafood production.
  11. Ambassador Stefán Haukur Jóhannesson, Reykjavík, for public service.
  12. Professor Emeritus Trausti Valsson, Reykjavík, for his contribution to planning studies and national discourse.



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