Born in December 1990 on the Faroe Islands’ southernmost island of Suðuroy, Pál Joensen began to emerge as a top-class swimmer in 2007 at the World Aquatics Championships in Melbourne. During the early part of his career, Pál trained near his home in a tiny 12.5-metre pool before upgrading to a 25-metre pool with four lanes in the town of Vágur, where he still lives. Favouring 800-metre and 1500-metre freestyle races, Pál has been coached by Jón Bjarnason since 2006. He will be competing in the London 2012 Olympics. Yet, because the Faroe Islands exist under the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Denmark, this tiny 18-island nation, located 300 km north ofScotland, is not entitled to have its own Olympics team; hence Pál will compete on the Danish team.
Pal will be competing in the following Olympic events:
- Saturday 28 July, 400 metre freestyle (heats and final)
- Tuesday 31 July, 200 metre freestyle (heats and final)
- Friday 3 August, 1500 metre freestyle (heats)
- Saturday 4 August, 1500 metre freestyle (final)
Pál near his hometown of Vágur
For further information: www.paljoensen.com
Snippets about Pál’s island of Suðuroy:
Serene fjords, green hills and dramatic vertical sea cliffs, up to 470 metres high and alive with thousands of birds, create a surreal beauty on this most southerly island with a population of just 5,000 people.
Recommended visitor activities on Suðuroy include:
- Guided hikes, following ancient walking paths and cairns that link tiny villages
- Rapelling (‘síging’) – the locals climb down the 40-50 metre-high cliffs without helmets – but for visitors, helmets, strong belts and ropes are compulsory!
- Spend a day with the sheep farmer Arnfríð Vestergaard Hentze as he goes about his daily tasks – herding his flock of sheep, shearing them and making hay.
- Visit the Faroes’ only uninhabited island, Lítla Dímun during a handful of annual excursions, one of which takes place on Midsummer’s Night in June (weather permitting), when people stay up all night in 24-hour daylight.
Direct flights from London Gatwick operate from May to 17 September 2012 and cost from £275 pp return. Visit www.atlantic.fo
For further information: www.visitfaroeislands.com
ENDS / JULY 2012