Thursday, August 27, 2009

Sport in Sweden

Stockholm's Olympiastadion
Sport activities are a national movement with half of the population actively participating, much thanks to the heavy government subsidies of sport associations (föreningsstöd). The two main spectator sports are football and ice hockey (several famous Swede ice hockey players include Mats Sundin, Peter Forsberg, Henrik Lundqvist, Markus Näslund, Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin, Daniel Alfredsson, Henrik Zetterberg and Nicklas Lidström). Second to football, horse sports have the highest number of practitioners, mostly women. Thereafter follow golf, athletics, and the team sports of handball, floorball, basketball and bandy.
Sweden has been a very successful sport nation throughout the years, and has a row of sportsmen that are considered to be the best in history in their type of sport. Björn Borg is considered not only to be the most successful player in his genre of sport, tennis, but also to be one of the most successful players in the history of sports. Jan-Ove Waldner the table tennis player known as 'the Mozart of table tennis' is a legend in both his native Sweden as well as in China. Gunnar Nordahl (football player) is still the best goalscorer of all time with 225 goals in 291 matches, and remains record holder for the most goals in a season in Italy, with 35 goals 1949–1950. Skier Ingemar Stenmark is considered to be one of the greatest alpine skiers of all time with 86 World Cup Victories. The greatest female Golf player of all time is Annika Sörenstam; her 90 international tournament wins as a professional make her the female golf player with the most wins to her name. She also tops the LPGA's career money list.

Åre ski resort
The Swedish ice hockey team Tre Kronor is regarded as one of the very best in the world and has won the World Championships eight times, which makes them third in the medal count. They won Olympic gold medals in 1994 and 2006. In 2006, as the first nation in history, they won both the Olympic and world championships in the same year. The Swedish national football team has seen some success at the World Cup in the past, finishing second when they hosted the tournament in 1958, and third twice, in 1950 and 1994.

Ullevi is a stadium in Gothenburg. The stadium is also the biggest in Scandinavia.
Athletics has enjoyed a surge in popularity due to several successful athletes in recent years, such as: Carolina Klüft, Stefan Holm, Christian Olsson, Patrik Sjöberg, Johan Wissman, Kajsa Bergqvist.
Sweden is also the eighth most successful country in the Olympic games in history.
In schools, on meadows and in parks, the game brännboll, a sport similar to baseball, is commonly played for fun. Other leisure sports are the historical game of kubb, and boules among the older generation.
Sweden hosted the 1912 Summer Olympics and the FIFA World Cup in 1958. Other big sports events held here include 1992 UEFA European Football Championship, FIFA Women's World Cup 1995, and several championships of ice hockey, curling, athletics, skiing, bandy, figure skating and swimming.

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