The event known to the world as 'Rasslin'-n-Reykjavik' is the biggest thing to happen in Iceland in more than a generation.Not since Ronald Reagan met Mikhail Gorbachev in 1986 has so much attention been focused on the small island nation.Eager to be part of this monumental event,the entire population of Reykjavik has gathered outside the University of Iceland building where the arm wrestling is due to take place.
I wanted to personally gauge the mood and feeling of the Icelandic people and have come to Reykjavik to photograph as much of the event as I can and interview a few of the locals.Not long after I arrived , I met with one such local by the name of Geir Hilmar Haarde who was happy to talk to me about what is going on in his city.
RTS:I suppose you're very excited by what's happening here.
Gier: Yes I am, this is great for Iceland.It gets so lonely up here and it's good to have company.It's boring seeing the same old faces.
RTS:Who are you supporting in the event? Do you and your fellow Icelanders have a preference as to which country wins?
Gier:We Icelanders normally try to stay neutral.But,while I can't speak for all my compatriots, I can tell you that I have to side against the Americans on this issue.
RTS: Why is that? Why this time? What's different?
Gier: Well, it's the problem we have with PETA. You know, they're really the cause of this whole debacle.
RTS: Can you elaborate ?
Gier: If you recall, it was PETA's interference with the folks in that small town in the U.S.....they pressured the community into adopting a law which led to the arrest of this Heywood Jadoit fellow.We Icelanders have had our own run ins with PETA.
RTS: How so ?
Gier:When Iceland resumed whaling, PETA had to put in their 2 cents worth.There were the protests and demonstrations. But what gets me, is the nature of there protests.Whenever PETA protests anybody they get these attractive women to dress up in those sexy animal costumes and demonstrate nearly half naked. I guess it was too cold for them to do that here.....like we're 2nd rate.
RTS: On the whaling issue...the U.S. was against you in that too....right?
Gier: Yeah , the U.S. and 24 other countries got their knickers in a twist over that. But , we're pretty much a laid-back people. We're not going to make a big deal out of all this.