Gísli Kristjánsson secures Iceland’s Sports Personality of the Year 2023 award

11 Jan. 2024

Gísli Kristjánsson secures Iceland’s Sports Personality of the Year 2023 award

Iceland’s centre back, Gísli Þorgeir Kristjánsson, was named Iceland’s Sports Personality of the Year 2023, another handball player to receive the award after astonishing performances for his country and for his club team.

Kristjánsson, 24, represented Iceland at the 2023 IHF Men’s World Championship, where the European team finished on the 12th place, scoring 18 goals, but being one of the best assists providers at Poland/Sweden 2023, finishing the world handball flagship competition with 39 assists, enough for the fifth place in the standings.

The Iceland and SC Magdeburg star received 500 points in the voting for the award, 128 points more than swimmer Anton Svein McKee, who came in second place. Football player GlĂłdĂ­s Perla ViggĂłsdĂłttir finished third with 326 points.

"I didn't quite see this when I came here tonight, but I was primarily proud and a little moved when I walked into the building tonight and saw how big and powerful the sports movement is. The title of sportsman of the year is something that you have dreamed about all your life, but I also know that I would never have received this title if it were not for all my teammates. There are so many people behind a title like this, in the last season with Magdeburg, and I am extremely grateful to all of them and to all the mentors that you have had over the years," said Kristjánsson after receiving the award.

The 24-year-old centre back was an integrant force behind Magdeburg’s excellent performances in 2023, being named the MVP of the German Bundesliga and the MVP of the EHF FINAL4 in Cologne where the German powerhouse won the title in an astonishing display of dominance.

Due to an injury to his shoulder, which required a surgery, Kristjánsson missed out on the 2023 IHF Men’s Super Globe, where Magdeburg also won the title, but helped his side one year earlier, when they also clinched the trophy.

"I don't think I could have written the script for this season any better, with the exception of not winning the Bundesliga. The way we won the Champions League and the way this weekend was for me was absolutely fantastic," added Kristjánsson.

The centre back is the 11th handball player to win the award since the beginning of the annual poll in 1956. Previously, Sigríður Sigurðardóttir (1964), Geir Hallsteinsson (1968), Hjalti Einarsson (1971), Alfreð Gíslason (1989), Geir Sveinsson (1997), Ólafur Stefánsson (2002, 2003, 2008 and 2009), Guðjón Valur Sigurðsson (2006), Alexander Petersson (2010), Aron Pálmarsson (2012) and Ómar Ingi Magnússon (2021, 2022) took the honours.