Research on excellence tends to focus on individual characteristics while ignoring to a large extent the wider socio-cultural aspects of achievement. This is especially evident in sports. The aim of this study is to frame the issue of sporting excellence sociologically and to address the question whether and if so how the social context affects sport performance, achievement and excellence. This work is based on four empirical research projects within the elite and youth sport culture in Iceland. Each project shows different aspects of the influence of the socio-cultural context on the value we place on sports, what sports we play, how we play sports and most notably on sport achievement. Together making a case for further sociological studies in the field of achievement and excellence in sports. This text is further intended to enrich the literature of achievement and excellence in general; to draw attention to the socio-cultural aspects of excellent performance; and to propose a new field of analysis of achievement and excellence, 'a sociology of excellence'.