26 May 2023



The Faroe Islands is situated about halfway between Scotland and Iceland in the Atlantic Ocean. The area encompasses 18 mountainous islands between Iceland and Norway in the North Atlantic Ocean, connected by road tunnels, ferries, walkways and bridges. The islands obtain a population little under 53000 with approximately 40% living in the capital, Tórshavn. On the 28 February 1981, the Faroe Islands Judo Federation was formed with the total of 4 clubs at the time. Two decades later, judo activities are regularly taking place across 6 clubs with approximately 270 members. 

Petur Sigurd JOHANNESEN won silver at the Small States European Judo Championships 2022 © Carlos Ferreira

Now, whilst most of the small nations across Europe are packing their bags to head to the Games of Small States of Europe 2023, regrettably, the Faroe Islands will not be able to participate as according to the rules and regulations of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), for any country to participate at the Olympics, it must be recognized by the United Nations. Since the GSSE is organised by the European Olympic Committee which falls under the IOC regulations, therefore, it’s a miss for the Faeroes. 

As mentioned, they are not only to missing out on the up-and-coming GSSE but also deprived of the Olympic dream. Well, at least under their birth flag. Most Faeroes would move to Denmark to conquer their Olympic perspectives. Knowing that some of the biggest sporting events are out of reach, the work of this federation is beyond commendable and shows tremendous passion for our sport. 

The list of medals Faroe Islands judo team won at the history of Natwest International Island Games. © Faroe Islands Judo Federations

One of the pilot tournaments where Faroese judoka able to represent their birth country is at the Island Games, also known as the Natwest International Island Games. At the latest edition, in 2019, Faroe Islands finished on top of the medal table at the judo event. Moreover, last year, Bugvi POULSEN delivered the country’s first ever world silver medal from the Veteran World Championships, held in Krakow. A successful 2022 was topped by first European medals from the Small States European Judo Championships, respectively 2 silver and 1 bronze. The latter mentioned event, is also a big boost for the country and the development of judo itself, giving an additional, valuable target to work towards.  

Off the mat…Did you know? 

Author: Szandra Szogedi