The Faroe Islands, a self-governing region of the Kingdom of Denmark that competes in the Olympic Games under the Danish flag, has today launched its campaign for Olympic recognition.
Building on a 40 year ambition, the Faroese Confederation of Sports and Olympic Committee [FCSOC] has unveiled a campaign brochure which outlines a swathe of sporting, cultural and political arguments to support its participation in the Olympic Games under its own flag.
Jon Hestoy, Vice President of the Faroese Confederation of Sports and Olympic Committee, said:
“We believe we have a really strong case for Olympic recognition. The Faroe Islands is a founding member of the International Paralympic Committee and we’ve competed in every Paralympic Games since 1984. In fact, we have won 13 medals and recorded 11 world records as the Faroe Islands. All we want is the same opportunity to compete in the Olympic Games under our own flag. The Danish National Olympic Committee is fully behind us, as are other Nordic NOCs, but at the moment, we find ourselves in an Olympic no-man’s land.
“And our arguments go beyond sport. For example, we are geographically much closer to Scotland, Iceland and Norway than to Denmark. We have our own language and control all key domestic matters including education, tax, trade and fisheries. We also have our own Parliament, flag and passport and are not part of the Schengen Area, unlike Denmark. Importantly, we are recognised by international organisations such as UNESCO and the International Maritime Organisation so all told, we believe we have a very strong case to take to the IOC.”
Pal Joensen, who won Bronze for the Faroe Islands at the 2012 FINA World Swimming Championships [25m] but competed for Denmark at the London 2012 Olympic Games, said:
“The Faroe Islands already competes in eight sports internationally including my own, swimming, where my greatest honour was winning medals for my country in World and European Championships.
“I had a great swimming career but my biggest regret was never having the opportunity to compete in the Olympic Games as a Faroese athlete. That’s why I’m so firmly behind this campaign because I want to give our athletes of tomorrow the chance to live their dreams and compete in the Olympic Games as the Faroe Islands.”
Katrin Olsen, who won silver at the Rowing World Championships 2005 & 2006 and a bronze in 2007 under the Danish flag, added:
“I’m really proud to have won silver and bronze medals at the Rowing World Championships but it would have been even greater to achieve this under the flag of the Faroe Islands.
“We compete in our own right in major sports such as football where we finished above Latvia and Andorra in our 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification group. So we have shown we can compete internationally and, what’s more, the Faroe Islands invests heavily in sports facilities and our people live for sport with one in three being members of sports clubs. I feel really passionate about our campaign; competing in the Olympic Games in our own right means everything to us and I really hope that the IOC listens to our case.”
The eight International Federations that already recognise the Faroe Islands in its own right are archery, badminton, football, handball, judo, swimming, table tennis and volleyball.
Source: ÍSF – The Faroese Confederation of Sports and Olympic Committee