MINNEAPOLIS - Minnesota Vikings fans gave us an unforgettable moment in the 2018 NFL Playoffs: an entire stadium chanting “Skol” in unison, after the Vikings improbable win over the New Orleans Saints.
But did you know that this chant actually has its origins in Iceland’s World Cup soccer team?
Iceland is the smallest country to compete in the 2018 World Cup -- or any World Cup -- with just 334,000 citizens total. That’s made them a fan favorite, along with their improbable run in the 2016 UEFA European Championships. That team made it all the way to the quarterfinals, including a shocking 2-1 win over global soccer powerhouse England.
During that tournament, soccer fans around the world came to love their famous Skol chant, where fans and players chant while clapping their hands above their heads. The word skol, written as skál in Icelandic, means a bowl, often filled with beer, shared among friends. The word is also used as a toast, or in this case, as a chant.
Inspired by Iceland’s soccer team, Minnesota Vikings fans started doing the chant when they moved into their new stadium at the end of 2016, and it played a part in their own moment of improbable triumph this year in the NFL playoffs.
How far the Icelandic team can make it in this World Cup is yet to be seen, but you can be sure one thing we will see is plenty of their famous chant.