109-Year-Old Dóra Sets New Icelandic Age Record

Dóra Ólafsdóttir became the oldest person to have ever lived in Iceland today, when she turned 109 years and 160 days old. Dóra, who lives in Reykjavík nursing home Skjól, was born in North Iceland on July 6, 1912. She received a visit from Iceland’s Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir today to mark the occasion.

Dóra was born in Suður-Þingeyjarsýsla district in North Iceland. She married Þórir Áskelsson on February 15, 1943, when they were both around 30 years old. For over four decades, Dóra worked as a telephone operator while Þórir worked as a fisherman and sailmaker. Þórir died in 2000 at 89 years of age.

The record-breaker has previously attributed her longevity to healthy eating, particularly fresh fish. She also credits exercise and says she always walked to work and went swimming regularly. Recent tests conducted by deCODE genetics showed that Dóra has a particularly strong heart.

The centenarian does have some seniors in neighbouring Nordic countries: seven Nordic residents are older than her, though the oldest of them only by four months. Only one Icelander has reached an older age than Dóra, though not as an Icelandic resident. Guðrún Björg Björnsdóttir, who was three years old when she moved from Vopnafjörður to North America with her family, died at 109 years and 310 days old, in August 1998, in the town of Gimli, Manitoba, Canada.

Ninety Hours of Sunshine So Far This Month


July in Reykjavík has gotten off to a warm start—by Icelandic standards, at least. The average temperature in the capital area thus far this month has been 11.6°C [52.8 °F]. This is 1.3 degrees above the average July temperatures from 1961 to 1990, and .2 degrees over the July average for the last ten years.

These were among the records and historical figures that meteorologist Trausti Jónsson shared on his blog this week.

In addition to warmer-than-average weather, the capital area has also been getting a great deal of sunshine: 90 hours of sunshine, in fact, since the start of the month. This is 35 more hours of sunshine than are usually experienced in the capital in the first ten days of July. This year is, therefore, ranked 11th in years with the most sunshine in the first ten days of July. Capital residents enjoyed the most sunshine—131.4 hours—in the first ten days of 1957, and suffered a depressing low in July 1977, when there were only 5.2 hours of sunshine in ten days.

This has, in fact, been the 8th warmest summer in Reykjavík since 2000. The warmest early July in the 21st century thus far was in 2009, when the average temperature was 13.4°C [56.1°F]. Last year was the coldest summer thus far—a chilly 9.1°C [48.4°F] on average.

While Reykjavík has been having an ostensible heat wave, temperatures up North have been fractionally colder than usual. The average temperature in Akureyri for the first ten days of July was 10.0°C [50°F], which is -0.1 degrees lower than the average temperature during the same time frame from 1961 – 1990, and -1.0 degrees lower than the average temperature in the town in early July over the last ten years.

Temperatures elsewhere around the country have varied, with some incrementally above the average for the last ten years, such as .9 degrees warmer at the weather station atop the Bláfjöll mountains in Southwest Iceland, and others below it, such as 2.1 degrees cooler at the Gagnheiði.weather station in East Iceland.

First Icelander to Run 10K in Under 30 Minutes

Hlynur Andrésson

Hlynur Andrésson became the first Icelander to run a 10k street race in under 30 minutes yesterday when he finished the Parelloop race in the Netherlands with a time of 29:49. Hlynur landed in 27th place in the run. Ugandan Mande Buschendich took first place in the race with a time of 27:56. RÚV reported first.

The previous Icelandic record in the category was set in 1983 when Jón Diðriksson ran 10k in 30:11 minutes in Germany. Hlynur also holds the Icelandic records for 10,000m track run, which he set in April 2018 in Charlottesville, USA with a time of 29:20.91. Hlynur has set four Icelandic records in running overall.

Ninety-Five-Year-Old Weatherman Is Oldest Icelander to Go Skydiving

Páll Bergþórsson, the former director of the Icelandic Met Office, went parachuting this week in honour of his 95th birthday, RÚV reports. Asked how he liked the experience, Páll remarked that it was no more disconcerting than standing on a 10 meter-high [32ft] wall.

“It was high time for an old weatherman like me to take a leap in a parachute and get closer to the sky that he’s always…teaching others about,” he wrote in a post on his Facebook page. He went on to laud the opportunity the jump gave him to “…observe the splendour of the mountain ranges, the sea, and the land…I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.”

With his jump, Páll became the oldest Icelander to have ever gone skydiving.

See a video of Páll’s jump on RÚV here.

Thelma Lind Breaks Thirty-Six-Year-Old Record for Discus Throw

Thelma Lind Kristjánsdóttir broke the Icelandic national record for women’s discus throw, RÚV reports. The previous national record had remained unbeaten for 36 years.

Thelma Lind set the new record at a throwing event in Borgarnes on Thursday. She threw a discus 54.69 meters [179.4 feet]. This not only broke her own previous personal best—52.80 meters [173.2 feet]—but also Iceland’s previous national record of 53.86 meters [176.7 feet], which was set by Guðrún Ingólfsdóttir in 1982.