Days of Handball Euphoria Posted by Bjørn A. Bojesen on Jan 30, 2012 in Uncategorized
While fodbold (European football, soccer) may be the national sport in Denmark, håndbold (handball) comes as a close second. In fact, it is the only major international sport which has been invented in Denmark. (According to Wikipedia, it was Holger Nielsen from the Copenhagen area who published the first set of handball rules in 1906.) So, the English word ’handball’ is actually inspired by Danish, rather than the other way around (as is usually the case)! 🙂
The success of the reborn champions has often been attributed to coach Ulrik Wilbek, who is a well-known personality in Danish media. In the 1990’ies he was coaching dameholdet (the female team, literally ’the lady team’), propelling Anja Andersen (born 1969) and her teammates to countless triumphs, including gold in the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics.
For a decade, then, many people here had the idea that ”real” handball had to be played by women! This idea changed in the 2000’s, as Mr Wilbek took over herreholdet (the male team, literally ’the gentleman team’), successfully leading it to a string of victories.
Danish handballer Anja Andersen in her days of glory, as presented by a fan.
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