Sports & Entertainment

SPORTS in Sweden

In relation to its geography and population, Sweden is one of the world's most sporting nations. The country is also the healthiest nations in the world, probably due to the great health care system and the active living philosophies of the population.

There are a wide variety of sports in Sweden. Popular sports include: soccer, tennis, surfing, swimming, golf, skating, skiing, running and hockey. Most Swedes receive about 4 weeks of paid vacation per year and they often travel to the countryside to enjoy various outdoor activities.

Almost half of Sweden's seven million inhabitants between the ages of 7 and 70 are members of a sports club - as active competitors, keep-fitters, leaders, trainers or supporters. Some two million of these are active sportsmen and women. About 650 000 engage in competitive sports at various levels and roughly 7 000 can be said to belong to the élite; that is, they compete at national championship level.

Characteristics of the Swedish sports movement are:

  • Independent
  • Non-profitable
  • Democratic
  • Based on voluntary, leadership and work
  • Open for all
  • Dynamic
  • Important factor for development in society

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Sweden is a nature paradise for tourists. With its diverse landscapes, majestic mountains, long coastline, thousands of lakes and the last still untouched wilderness in Europe, Lappland, the Scandinavian country welcomes all sport lovers and those who like authentic nature. Almost all types of active holidays can be organised, in every season and in all parts of the country, in this magnificent setting. This variety promises tourists a one-in-a lifetime experience.
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Sweden in brief / Sporting Sweden

Sweden is a nation of amateur athletes and physical exercise enthusiasts. The Swedes love their grandiose Nordic nature above all else, and what most of them mean by "enjoying nature" is taking active advantage of it — by going out hiking, jogging, cross-country or Alpine skiing, long-distance ice skating, sailing, paddling a canoe, fishing, playing soccer (European football) or golf and practicing just about all other imaginable sports and leisure activities.

Among today's biggest Swedish sports stars are Annika Sörenstam (golf), Anja Pärson (Alpine skiing), Peter Forsberg, Mats Sundin and Niklas Lidström (ice hockey), Stefan Holm, Christian Olsson, Carolina Klüft and Kajsa Bergqvist (track and field) and Fredrik Ljungberg and Zlatan Ibrahimovic (soccer).

Putting Swedes on NHL Ice
by Anders Porter, freelance journalist
When the Swedish men's ice hockey team secured the gold medal at the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Torino, the eyes of the sporting world were once again seeing blue and yellow. Swedish ice hockey players however have not only proved themselves in international competition over the years, but in North America's National Hockey League as well.


  • There are currently 52 Swedish players in the NHL.
  • The Swedish men's ice hockey team came to be called Tre Kronor ("Three Crowns") in 1938. Usage of the "three crowns" as an official symbol for Sweden began in 1364.
  • The Swedish men's ice hockey team has won medals in eight Olympic Games, with two gold medals (1994 and 2006), two silver medals (1928 and 1964) and four bronze medals (1952, 1980, 1984 and 1988).

Read more: Swedes on NHL Ice

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