The Swedish Stars of the soccer World Championships '94
The Most Popular Sports
Within the ball sports, such as; football (soccer), handball, basketball, American football as well as Frisbee, bandy, and Ice hockey there are series, divisions and qualification games. The teams at the bottom of the series, start off their next season in the series below.
IFK- Göteborg is the most internationally successful team over the last 15 years, with two wins in one of the major European Cups, the UEFA Cup.
The National Football Team has had a few international victories with a gold medal in the Olympic Games in 1948, with the most renowned players being Gunnar Gren, Gunnar Nordahl and Nils Liedholm. A silver medal was again awarded in 1958 in the World Championships, and a third place, i.e., Bronze medal, in the World Championship in 1994, with only Italy and Brazil ahead of the Swedish team. Added to this, the Swedish player Thomas Brolin was voted into the world-team. He is today a professional player in the Italian team Parma. The goalkeeper from IFK Göteborg, Thomas Ravelli, was voted the second best goalkeeper in the world. He is, in addition, the player in a Swedish team who has played the most international matches. They were 117 including the World Championship in 1994.
As far as the ladies teams are concerned, there are the divisions I and II, and then there are the III, and IV, in turn divided into A as well as B groups, and, lastly, there is only one division V.
Ice hockey has always been a very popular sport in Sweden, both as far as the players are concerned, as well as viewers. The broad base for recruitment lies in the many hockey-clubs all over the country. Every boy has on one occasion or another, tried to play Ice hockey.
The series in Swedish hockey is divided into an elite series including twelve teams, from Malmö in the south to Luleå in the North. The All Swedish league comprising the best teams in division I, and then there are the Divisions II down to IV, in some places even more, depending on how many teams there are. When every team in the elite series has met twice, the two lowest ranked teams are out of the elite series, and pushed down to the All Swedish series. Thus, there are ten teams to play for the eight top places. Each team meets all of the others twice, until eight teams are left. These eight teams play to win the Swedish Cup.
As far as the ladies teams are concerned, the World Championships were initiated in 1990 and now take place every second year.
This ball game on ice was introduced in Sweden in 1894. Notwithstanding this, the game is nowadays confined to: the Nordic countries, Russia, Netherlands, North America, and Hungary. The World Championships were introduced in 1957, and since then Sweden has taken five titles.
The game as such includes eleven players in each team, plus three substitutes. The playing ground should be on ice, measuring 90-110 metres in length, shielded by a 15 centimetre high wooden fence. The playground measures 45-65m in width, and the goals are to be 3,5 metres in width and 2,1 in height. The kernel of the ball is made out of cork which is enclosed in red cord, and is not to be larger than 6 centimetres in diameter; it has to have a weight of 58-62 grams. The wooden club, which is not to be more than 120 centimetres long, with a bend of a maximum of six centimetres in width including the wrap. The goalkeeper does not have a club. The game is played 2x45 minutes. Noteworthy is that the rules pretty much resemble those in football. Due to the large number of teams there is an elite series, and a division system also within this sport.
Athletics, being perhaps the toughest sport to succeed in internationally Sweden can still point to some victories after the 60s. Anders Gärderud's classic win, in the steeplechase at the Olympics at Montreal 1976, is probably the most recognised. In 1980, Linda Haglund was 4th in the 100m in the Moscow Olympics. In 1982, Ann-Louise Skoglund won the European championships in 400 m hurdles, and in 1984, Patrik Sjöberg won silver in the high jump at the Los Angeles Olympics, In '87 he became world champion and in '88 he was third in the Seoul Olympics.
World records held by Swedes in the last 20 years are:
Orienteering is one of the most popular sports in Sweden attracting more than 100,000 runners. It is very much a family sport with courses constructed to fit everyone's personal ability. The largest meets in Sweden are "Femdagars" and "O-ringen".
Sweden also has a broad anchored interest in the participation of swimming, for the pure exercise. It is a very popular sport for exercise and there are indoor swimming pools in most Swedish cities of middle size. Everyone is welcome to practice at given hours paying a small fee. During the summer there are additional outdoor pools.
Important to stress as far as public swimming and swimming education are concerned is the Swedish Life-saving Association (Svenska Livräddningssällskapet) organising the teaching of youngsters in how to swim. For further information please contact Svenska Livräddningssällskapet. (Industrigatan 2A) Box 49154. S-100 29 Stockholm. Phone; 08-654 18 30, fax; 08-651 81 10.
The local yellow pages in the telephone catalogue reveal which styles that are represented in the region. The Swedish Karate Association is ordered under the World United Karate Organisation. The rules for competition are therefore equal to all karate styles. Swedish kung fu is also a type which is further divided into smaller units for its respective style.
National Championships as well as Nordic Championships are held in most types of martial arts in Sweden. Göteborg has for a long time been regarded as the most important riding centre in Sweden due to the renowned and annually held Gothenburg Horse Show. This event is but one of the most famous and prestigious series of Grand Prix horse jumping competitions in the world.
However, riding in all forms and styles has always been a very popular sport in Sweden. On the outskirts of large cities and in the countryside there are a large number of riding schools, providing the opportunity to ride a horse. For the beginner, the riding school will teach the students not only how to ride the horse, but also, how to take care of it. The advanced riders are provided with the opportunity to ride out in the woods, learn horse-jumping or track racing, and learn dressage riding. Most riding schools are affiliated to the Swedish Riding Sports Association; The Swedish Riding Sports Association publishes two different magazines; Ridsport and Hästjournalen.
For further information concerning the different riding schools throughout Sweden, and also of their summer camp activities please contact the Swedish Riding Sports Association in Stockholm.
There are, of course, also the horse-stables with ponies and Icelandic horses. These are almost never affiliated to the Swedish Riding Sports Association. However, they will be listed in the yellow pages in the local telephone book.
Useful information Quiz game Contents About... E-mail