Not held in other Games

Glíma at the 1912 Summer Olympics

Glíma is an ancient form of wrestlng that has survived since the Vikings, but is practiced almost exclusively in Iceland, where it has been popular for over 1,000 years. Glíma is derived from the two Icelandic words, glitra and glampa, which mean “something that flashes or sparkles.”

In Glíma wrestling, each wrestler wears a harness consisting of a strap around both thighs, which are linked by vertical straps on the outside of the thigh. The match begins with each wrestler placing his right arm over the top of his opponent’s hip at the back while the left hand holds onto the strap on the outside of the thigh. Competitors must maintain contact with the harness or the match is stopped and re-started. There is no ground wrestling. The purpose is to throw the opponent to the ground, consisting of a fall, which wins the match. The wrestlers competed in two-minute rounds until one of them succeeded in throwing his opponent. There are several different types of glíma – brokartök, hryggspenna, and lausatök. Brokartök is the most popular form, using a trouser-grip, and is Iceland’s national sport. Hryggspenna is also known as backhold wrestling, while lausatök is popular in Norway.

Glíma was demonstrated at both the 1908 and 1912 Olympics. In 1912 there was both an exhibition of the sport and a formal demonstration competition.

Non-medal events

Event Status Date Participants NOCs
Glíma, Men Olympic (non-medal) 15 July 1912 6 1
6 (6/0) 1 (1/0)