Halldor Helgason is a great role model for kids. No, I’m not joking.
Let’s deal with the obvious criticism first: yeah, he has been known to get loose and do some nasty shit. But in all honesty, I’d rather my kid looked up to a real (albeit raw) person than idolize some manufactured product of a human with no personality of their own, like Justin Bieber. That kid is a ‘Dead Stripper Found In Bin’ headline waiting to happen. At least in Halldor’s stripper press the girls are probably going to be alive.
He might be no angel, but he certainly is an all-round boss at snowboarding. His Nike part was voted ‘Best Male Performance’ by a distinguished panel of his peers at The Reels Festival. Getting to that level took commitment (untold hours practicing on a gas pipe at the back of the Akureyri ice rink), ambition and drive.
It’s also pretty obvious that he and his brother Eiki are smart businessmen. Early in their careers they both decided that if you’re going to promote a company, it’s best to be a shareholder. Intelligence and entrepreneurship are good things for kids to aspire to, I reckon.
Anyone who has spent time with Harold knows how positive he is. As well as always taking the time to talk to kids and give them props on their tricks, he never gets pissed off with himself or anyone else. Maybe being that approachable, friendly and humble is an Icelandic thing, but these are characteristics any parent would hope for in their own spawn, right?
Maybe being that approachable, friendly and humble is an Icelandic thing, but these are characteristics any parent would hope for in their own spawn, right?
My personal favourite thing about him is that he seeks no sanction. Sanction is defined as “authoritative permission or approval that makes a course of action valid." How many under 25s do you know who genuinely do not give a fuck about whether their opinion differs from that of their peers? Most riders conform to ‘expected behaviour’ at contests, for whatever reason. Meanwhile Halldor drinks from hip flasks, tries triple jerk flips, takes the piss all the time and gets away with it because the public love it. Trusting your own judgment and seeking no sanction are two of the best features to look for in a role model, as is a healthy disregard for needless authoritarian rules.
Halldor knows how and, more importantly, when to party. Too much and he wouldn’t be where he is, and too little isn’t good for anyone. He works hard, and then rewards his success with RV juice and strip clubs. Sure, there are some nasty antics from time to time involving puke, piss and nakedness, but for fuck’s sake, this is the closest he gets to being a rock star. And who wouldn’t have sent it at least as hard at his age?
He’s got integrity, and this must be the most important reason of all. He backs what he believes in, regardless of the consequences. A while ago, for example, his crew all lost their jobs thanks to ‘A2M-gate’, when the Swedish press clocked the ending of a pretty wild Icelandic shred movie (in which Halldor is Master of Ceremonies for the closing ‘game’). Before anyone knew it, both nations’ governing bodies had pulled Olympic team places, sacked instructors and generally got very sandy vaginas. Halldor ignored all that, got his dad (who is rad) to help sort out the Icelandic Olympic people, then went to a casino in Monaco where he won enough money to pay for their second movie.
Halldor ignored all that, then went to a casino in Monaco where he won enough money to pay for their second movie.
Anyway, who the fuck do these desk jockeys think they are? If parents and others want to create a false reality for themselves in which Olympic athletes are celibate non-partiers who never swear, then that’s their concern. It should not, however, mean that anyone should have to alter their lifestyle to match.
Halldor has become successful on his own terms without having to sacrifice his values or ideals. He leaves a trail of happy people in his wake and enjoys himself, without harming a soul. Through it all he remains a top athlete on the Nike global team, and one of most fun dudes you could ever meet.
Sounds to me like a far better role model than any premiership footballer or The Only Way Is Chelsea animated corpse disguised as a Z-rate ‘celebrity’.