sport in greenland

Sports in Greenland

By Verified Expert

Text: Mads Nordlund
Photo: Tiina Itkonen
Article from Greenland Today, November 2007

A lot of outsiders think that a country with snow and ice must be one huge winter sports center. But Greenlanders have many ways to keep fit.


When you travel around Greenland, there is one area where the country resembles everywhere else in the world. Wherever you go, you meet people exercising, running, walking, or walking with. You see people on mountain bikes and skateboards in the summer, and snowboards in the winter. The expression »off-road« really comes to its right.

Indoor and outdoor

Apart from skiing and cross-country skiing, you would think that indoor sports attracted most participants. But some sports are both indoor and outdoor, like when the summer football moves indoors in the winter with handball and badminton, where tennis players also can be found.

Competitions abroad

Amongst the less widespread sports are the old Greenlandic games with different disciplines on the program at the Arctic Winter Games, which has participants from the entire Arctic region.

Self-defense is practiced and Taekwondo is the most widespread and has produced participants who have reached the top at World Championships.

Known worldwide

Greenland has developed several annual sporting events classified amongst the world’s most beautiful, most exciting, and hardest. The most well-known is the ski race Arctic Circle Race which has received international recognition in sporting circles and attracts competitors from all over the world.

Yearly events

Every year since 1996 the Arctic Circle Race which is a ski race at the Polar Circle, in the town of Sisimiut on the west coast of Greenland, while in South Greenland is called the Greenland Adventure Race.

In addition, there is the Nuuk Marathon and the Polar Circle Marathon which take place in the capital and at the Polar Circle, and the terrain and climate make both marathons something special.

You also see golf in Greenland mostly on gravel and sand, but also on grass or on simulators in the wintertime.

Past and the future

Greenland’s championships in kayak and dog sledding are two of the old sports that have survived up to today. But with the swimming baths in Nuuk, there may one day be a swimmer from Greenland at the Olympics.

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