"This is just the way presidents do things"
“There are narrow-minded people in this world who say that presidents should not do this. But I say this is just the way presidents do things,” said Iceland’s President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson, while donning a differelntly coloured pair of socks and re-enacting the famous image that went viral on the Internet a few years ago.
The Downs-Association visited Bessastaðir today to give the President a checked pair of socks and two T-shirts designed for the International Downs Day which is next Tuesday. Arna Dís and Katla Sif, both of whom have Downs-syndrome, were honored to give the President the T-shirts, which they modelled for.
“I’m fine. They’re colourful, beautiful and comfortable socks,” the president said when talking to mbl.is.
“I don’t always wear such elegant socks, but when given the opportunity, it makes you happy. Why not just go for it!”
The T-shirts are made specially for International Downs Day which is next Tuesday. mbl.is/Kristinn Magnússon
Did not even listen to the nay-sayers
The President then addressed the criticism the old picture of him in mismatched colourful socks got on the internet.
“There are always people who misunderstand symbolic support. It just made me more adamant in my support when people were making jokes. I simply did not listen to it. I find it strange that people don’t see the importance of supporting a good cause.”
The number of people born with Down syndrome has been decreasing in recent years, since screening during pregnancy has improved greatly.
“The number of people born with Down syndrome has dropped sharply in Iceland due to the advances in screening. I believe it is imperative that parents at any time can make their own informed choice in that regard,” Jóhannesson stated, claiming that he believes it is important that information about the syndrome should be provided objectively.
“It must never be the case that a message to parents is that a person with Down syndrome does not have a bright life ahead of them, because that is not the case at all.”