Gísli Þorgeir Kristjánsson Named 2023 Sportsperson of the Year

Gísli Þorgeir Kristjánsson named 2023 Icelandic Sportsperson of the year

At an award ceremony last night, handballer Gísli Þorgeir Kristjánsson was named 2023 Sportsperson of the Year for his achievements with SC Magdeburg and the Icelandic national team. Aside from being chosen Best Player in the German Bundesliga, Gísli Þorgeir also played a pivotal role in SC Magdeburg’s 2022-2023 EHF Champions League win.

Sportsperson of the Year

Handball player Gísli Þorgeir Kristjánsson, who plays for the German team SC Magdeburg and the Icelandic national handball team, was named the 2023 Icelandic Sportsperson of the Year at an award ceremony held last night by the Association of Sports Journalists.

This is the first time that Gísli has received the award and the third consecutive year that a handball player has been honoured with the title, Vísir reports. Gísli’s teammate at SC Magdeburg and on the national team, Ómar Ingi Magnússon, was previously honoured with the title for two consecutive years (in 2021 and 2022).

A cut above the rest

In the selection, Gísli received 500 points, 128 points more than swimmer Anton Svein McKee, who came in second place. Football player Glódís Perla Viggósdóttir finished third with 326 points. The three were a cut above the rest as far as rankings are concerned.

As noted by Vísir, Gísli enjoyed an outstanding year with SC Magdeburg. He was named Best Player of the German Bundesliga and Most Valuable Player of the 2022-2023 EHF Champions League final weekend, which SC Magdeburg won. Gísli scored six goals in the final against Kielce, despite having dislocated his shoulder in the semifinal against Barcelona the day before. He was also the seventh-highest scorer in the Champions League with 87 goals.

Additionally, Gísli played a key role in the Icelandic national team, which finished 12th at the World Championship in Poland and Sweden.

Sportsperson of the Year Rankings:

  1. Gísli Þorgeir Kristjánsson, handball, 500 points
  2. Anton Sveinn McKee, swimming, 372 points
  3. Glódís Perla Viggósdóttir, football, 326 points
  4. Andrea Kolbeinsdóttir, athletics, 101 points
  5. Sveindís Jane Jónsdóttir, football, 94 points
  6. Elvar Már Friðriksson, basketball, 93 points
  7. Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson, football, 73 points
  8. Sóley Margrét Jónsdóttir, powerlifting, 69 points
  9. Thelma Aðalsteinsdóttir, gymnastics, 53 points
  10. Snæfríður Sól Jórunnardóttir, swimming, 47 points

Nominations for 2023 Athlete of the Year Announced

Iceland football team

Ten athletes are nominated for the Sports Journalists Association’s Athlete of the Year 2023, Mbl.is reports. This year will see a new recipient of the award, continuing a tradition since 1956.

A tradition stretching back to 1956

Ten individuals are in contention for the Sports Journalists Association’s Athlete of the Year 2023 award, which will be announced for the 68th time on the evening of Thursday, January 4. This year, six women and four men have emerged as frontrunners in the voting, marking a significant change from last year, when eight men and three women were in the top eleven spots (with two tying for the 10th-11th position).

As noted by Mbl.is, the Sports Journalists Association has been selecting the Athlete of the Year consecutively since 1956. Olympian Vilhjálmur Einarsson was the first recipient of the award, which the winning athlete keeps for one year. Vilhjálmur notably retained it for the first three consecutive years and for five of the first six years of the award.

A new name etched on the award

As noted by Mbl.is, it is certain that a new name will be engraved on the trophy this year, as none of the top ten finalists have previously been named Athlete of the Year. Four of ten were, however, among the top seven in the 2022 voting: Glódís Perla Viggósdóttir finished second, Gísli Þorgeir Kristjánsson third, Anton Sveinn McKee fifth, and Elvar Már Friðriksson seventh. Handball player Ómar Ingi Magnússon, who was awarded the title over the past two years, has not been nominated this year.

The ten finalists, listed in alphabetical order, are:

Andrea Kolbeinsdóttir, a track and field athlete from ÍR. She became the Icelandic champion in seven running events, set two Icelandic records, and also won the national championship in cross-country skiing on the same day she broke a 29-year-old record in the indoor 5,000-metre run.

Anton Sveinn McKee, a swimmer from Sundfélag Hafnarfjarðar. He won silver in the 200 m breaststroke at the European Championships in a 25 m pool in Romania in December and finished seventh in the same event at the World Championships in a 50 m pool in Japan. Anton is currently second in the world rankings for the 200 m breaststroke in a 25 m pool.

Elvar Már Friðriksson, a basketball player with PAOK in Greece. He played major roles for his club teams in Lithuania and Greece during the year and was instrumental in the Icelandic national team, which was very close to qualifying for the World Cup for the first time. In November, Elvar became the first player in the history of the FIBA Champions League to achieve a triple-double in an away game.

Gísli Þorgeir Kristjánsson, a handball player with Magdeburg in Germany. He was named the best player in the European Champions League finals, securing the European championship title for his team. Gísli was also voted the best player in German handball for the 2022-2023 season.

Glódís Perla Viggósdóttir, a footballer with Bayern Munich in Germany. She was a key player for Bayern when the team won the German championship in the spring of 2023 and was considered one of the best players in the league. Glódís took over as captain for both Bayern and the Icelandic national team in 2023.

Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson, a footballer playing for Burnley in England. He played a significant role in the club’s dominant win in the English Championship Division and is now competing in the English Premier League in the current season.

Snæfríður Sól Jórunnardóttir, a swimmer at Aalborg Svømmeklub in Denmark. She finished 7th in the 200 m freestyle at the European Championships in a 25 m pool in Romania and 14th in the same event at the World Championships in a 50 m pool in Japan. Snæfríður set 13 Icelandic records over the year.

Sóley Margrét Jónsdóttir, a powerlifter from Breiðablik. She became the European champion in the women’s +84 kg category in equipped powerlifting. Sóley also won silver in the same event at the World Championships in Lithuania, narrowly missing the world champion title.

Sveindís Jane Jónsdóttir, a footballer at Wolfsburg in Germany. She became the German Cup champion with her team and was the second Icelandic woman to play in the UEFA Women’s Champions League final, where Wolfsburg lost to Barcelona, playing the entire match.

Thelma Aðalsteinsdóttir, a gymnast from Gerpla. She became the Nordic champion on uneven bars, reached the vault finals at a World Cup event in Hungary, and was close to securing an Olympic spot at the World Championships. Thelma won the Icelandic championship in all-around and uneven bars and became the cup champion with Gerpla.

Six of these ten have previously been among the top finalists in the selection.

Four Icelanders Compete in Olympics this Month

Swimmer Snæfríður Sól Jórunnardóttir will be the only Icelandic woman competing in this year’s Olympics in Tokyo, mbl.is reports. There will be four Icelandic competitors at the games this year. This is the smallest Icelandic team to attend the Summer Olympics since 1964, when they were also held in the Japanese capital.

Snæfríður was allocated a quota place in the Olympic swimming competition where she will compete in both the 100-metre and 200-metre freestyle. She reached the B qualifying standard before the games in March this year. These are her first Olympic games.

Snæfríður will swim in the preliminary rounds in the 200-metre freestyle on July 26 and the preliminary rounds in the 100-metre freestyle on July 28. The other three Icelanders competing in the games are swimmer Anton Sveinn McKee, who qualified for the games last year, and marksman Ásgeir Sigurgeirsson and discus thrower Guðni Valur Guðnason, who were allocated quota seats.