When the tiny island nation of Iceland qualified for its first-ever World Cup, a Canadian man with Icelandic roots thought it would be fun to try and genealogically link himself to the team in the name of bragging rights. He wound up getting a lot more than he bargained for.
“It started off with the excitement when Iceland qualified for the World Cup. I thought it’d be a great opportunity to kind of brag about it a little bit with my colleagues,” explained Len Isleifson, speaking to CTV News in Canada.
And when I informed my father I was doing this, he reached out to a company called Iceland roots and between the two of them they sourced out the relationships.”[tournament],” explains Isleifson. “Less than 350,000, so there’s a little bit more opportunity to be related to more people.”
But while people in Iceland are accustomed to being distantly, or not-so-distantly related, the unexpected novelty of being tied to the World Cup minnows has been a source of excitement for Isleifson.
The Manitoba resident, who is a member of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, is hoping he can parlay his family ties into a reunion of sorts with the Icelandic World Cup heroes who fought Argentina to a 1-1 draw in their opener before losing 2-0 to Nigeria in their second match.