Sarah Sjostrom is a well-reputed sprint swimmer who specializes in short freestyle and butterfly events. The Swede has multiple world records to her name and is the undisputed queen when it comes to 50, 100 and 200 meter freestyle.
Sjostrom currently holds world records in all three events as well as the 50 and 100 meter butterfly. But were you aware of these five lesser-known facts about Sarah Sjostrom?
#1 From 27th place to a new WR in a year
The Swedish swimmer finished 27th in 100m butterfly in her first Olympics at Beijing in 2008. Barely a year had passed since she swam again in 100m butterfly at the 2009 World Championships when she shocked the world with a new world record in the heats (56.44). Sarah Sjostrom went on to beat it herself the very next day in the finals (56.06), announcing her arrival in stunning fashion.
#2 ‘Destr0ystr0m’ - Gamers look out for this username as you may be up against a world champion
Sarah Sjostrom doesn’t just exert her muscles outdoors as she’s an avid gamer too. She started playing Counter Strike with her brother and father. Posting a video on Instagram last year, the 27-year-old joked about changing sports when the Olympics was postponed due to the pandemic.
She even ventured into indoor climbing last year to strengthen her arms.
"It helps with arm strength. But I won't compete in it at the Olympic Games. I know it is a new discipline and I joked about it on social media," Sarah Sjostrom said on indoor climbing as quoted by olympic.org.
#3 Sarah Sjostrom never leaves her snorkel behind
Sarah Sjostrom travels without a physiotherapist by her side, so she makes sure to carry two things with her to every swim meet — a trigger-point ball and a snorkel.
“My most important thing is my snorkel! I take it everywhere, always, so I don't have to think about breathing or the breathing pattern. In fifty percent of my freestyle training, I use my snorkel. I don't know if it's unusual; it's my thing. I just like using my snorkel," said Sjostrom.
#4 Awarded the Victoria Scholarship at the age of 20
Only the third swimmer in Swedish history to be awarded the Victoria Scholarship [after Lars Frolander (1999) and Therese Alshammar (2000)], Sarah Sjostrom became a national hero in 2014 after breaking numerous world records.
The Victoria Scholarship is awarded to an outstanding Swedish athlete annually on the 14th of July which is the Crown Princess Victoria’s birth date.
#5 Owes her success to her best friend?
Sarah Sjostrom used to enjoy football and handball as a 9-year-old but would hide in the showers as she “didn't like swimming” and hated getting water in her goggles. The 27-year-old confessed that she only started swimming as she wanted to spend more time with her best friend who had joined a swim club.
The rest is history.