I have always been a big fan of the olympic games, turning into a couch potato every time they are on. The Winter Olympics however, were only brought to my life when I met my Swedish boyfriend. Born and raised in a warm country, from which very few athletes have participated in the Winter Olympics, the winter version of the games was just not a big thing. Nowadays is different. I have learned a lot about sports I didn’t even know existed ten years ago and it’s fun to follow and support the Swedish athletes.
The Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, are about to start and 106 Swedish athletes will participate. That’s a lot to keep track of, but here are some of the highlights you don’t want to miss.
Kalla is a legendary cross-country ski athlete. She has already won two olympic gold medals and numerous other medals and prizes. I became Kalla’s fan after seeing her epic performance in a relay race in the Sochi olympics in 2014. She was the last of the team to go and with an invincible determination she overcame a 25 second gap, leading the Swedish team to a gold medal (watch a summary here). This year is no different and we all hope that Kalla fights what it looks like an infinite number of Norwegian skiers and brings home some medals.
Nilsson is nowadays considered one of the best cross-country sprinters in the world and her participation in the olympics is promising. She already has a bronze medal from the last olympics and recently won silver in the world cup. Let’s hope she will be the fastest sprinter in Pyeongchang.
If you enjoy watching great jumps, spins and flips in the air this is your olympic event. Watch out for Henrik Harlaut, a promising Swedish athlete, that just won gold and silver at the winter X-games in Colorado. Besides that he is also known by his style, competing with trousers around the knees and Ninja Turtles gloves.
At the age of 21 Näslund is one of the biggest Swedish candidates to win a medal at the winter Olympics. Recently, she became the first Swedish world champion in skicross when she got the gold at the world cup held in Sierra Nevada, Spain.
Curling might look strange at a first glance, with all the sweeping on ice, but once you get into it it’s actually quite fun. Niklas Edin is the star of the Swedish team, counting already an olympic bronze from the Sochi Olympics, two world championships and six european championships. The current curling Swedish team, where Niklas is the skipper (the main guy), has been ranked number 1 in the World Tour and is a clear contender to an olympic medal in curling.
Sweden participates as well in the women’s curling tournament, with the female team ranked in the Top 7.
Ice Hockey is one of the biggest sports in Sweden and you should definitely not miss it during the olympics.
The men’s team won’t be counting with some of the best players, as they have not been released from their clubs in the US. Despite this, Sweden still has chances to get a medal, especially since most of the other countries are in the same situation. Basically, anything can happen and that makes the tournament even more exciting.
There is of course a lot more to see in the coming Winter Olympics. The olympics are also about fair play and the love for sport. The events are to be enjoyed even if our favourite athletes don’t win.
So puff up your sofa pillows, bring the snacks, relax and enjoy.