Online newspaper Vísir and radio station Bylgjan organise a yearly vote in Iceland for person of the year. Each December, readers and listeners are invited to nominate people online and by phone who they believe deserve the title for their achievements during the year. This month, nearly 7,000 nominations were received. Vísir and Bylgjan have gone over the nominations and created a shortlist on ten individuals, listed below.
A winner, chosen by public vote throughout the end of the month, will be announced on December 31.
Shortlist for Person of the Year
The CEO of deCODE genetics launched a website where Icelanders can find out whether they carry a genetic mutation in the genome BRCA2 which makes them more likely to be diagnosed with cancer. deCODE also funded the purchase and installation of Iceland’s first PET scanner, now in use at the National University Hospital.
The director of Woman at War, which swept up at award ceremonies around the world, has used his new-found publicity to speak out about combating climate change. Woman at War was awarded the Nordic Council Film Prize and the European Parliament’s LUX Prize this year, among several other wins and nominations.
The police officer and chief inspector handles missing children cases on behalf of the Government Agency for Child Protection. Every year some 80-90 children go missing in Iceland; one 12-year-old went missing 20 times.
The Minister of Education and Culture showed courage when describing the crude and now-infamous conversation of MPs recorded at Klaustur Bar as “violence.” The MPs were abusers who should not be given power within Icelandic society, Lilja stated sincerely in an interview on evening program Kastljós.
The anonymous whistle-blower responsible for recording the sexist, ableist, and homophobic conversation of six MPs at a Reykjavík bar and sending it to media eventually came forward, revealing herself to be a queer, disabled woman. Bára could face a lawsuit at the hands of the MPs for her actions.
Einar Hansberg Árnason
The athlete rowed 500km (310mi) in 50 hours on a rowing machine at Crossfit Reykjavík to raise funds for Kristín Sif Björgvinsdóttir and her family, and raise awareness of suicide among young men. Kristín Sif’s husband took his own life earlier that year.
The long-distance runner became the first woman to complete the 400km (248mi) Ultra Gobi Race in China’s Gobi Desert in under 100 hours. She placed seventh in the race overall.
Guðmundur Ragnar Magnússon
The Icelandic Coast Guart sailor saved 15 people from the ship Fjordvik which stranded in Helguvík in November. Guðmundur broke two ribs in the process, but continued the operation until all of the ship’s passengers had reached safety, and was the last man off board.
Guðrún Björt Yngvadóttir
The biomedical scientist was elected international president of Lions Clubs International, making her the first woman to serve in the post in the organisation’s 101-year history.
The mother of Einar Darri Óskarsson, who died in May from an overdose of sedatives, started the “I have only one life” movement in memory of her son. The movement aims to raise awareness of the dangers of drug use among youth.