Monday, August 22, 2011

Afternoon Coffee with an Illustrious Member of The Faroese Delegation

Two Vikings Meet on the Field of Battle

If you've been following my blog, you know that my obsession with the Faroe Islands is reaching borderline insane proportions. So when my (online) friend Rókur Í Jákupsstovu told me that he would be in the vicinity at the same time as my Danish vacation, needless to say I didn't hesitate. For those of you who don't know, Rókur is the author of by far the best swim blog in the Faroes, He also travelled to Shanghai with Pal, his coach Jon Bjarnason and the President of Faroese swimming, Jon Hestoy. Over a beer, and the subsequent coffee we drank to stay awake that you see in the picture above, we talked about anything and everything in the swimming world.

It's going to be a very interesting year for Pal and the Faroes in general. They are in uncharted waters, having only in the last year or so finalized the plans for a Faroese swimmer to compete on the Danish Olympic team. Reading between the lines of the Danish newspapers, there is undoubtedly some serious tension about what I always catch myself looking at as a feel good story. The executive of the Danish swimming federation was quoted saying "we will allow Pal to continue training in the Faroes" among other things, an odious quote.

There are political and historical issues weighing on the entire process. I admit that prior to this summer I knew very little of the history of the Faroes, particularly in relation to Denmark. A disastrous economic crisis from the 90s is still fresh in many Faroese minds. Depending on who you ask the Danish government either "saved" the Faroes or its meddling almost led the the collapse of the entire island economy. 

My takeaway from a summer of research and reading the papers is that the Danish federation certainly knows that the Faroes need them. What they don't realize is that they sorely need the Faroes. As great a summer as it was for Danish swimming, all the good results are on the women's side right now. With some promising juniors still a few years away, Pal is the only legitimate medal threat on the Danish men's team for 2012.

I have an easy way to resolve this- simply place me in charge of Danish swimming! I mean, it's not as far fetched as the Viking taking over USA Swimming, right? I mean you could at least think about it...

1 comment:

  1. "I have an easy way to resolve this- simply place me in charge of Danish swimming!"

    Sounds like a perfectly good plan to me ! :-D