Therese Alshammar

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Therese Alshammar
Therese Alshammar 2013-01-08 001.jpg
Personal information
Full name Malin Therese Alshammar
Nickname(s) Tessan
NationalityFlag of Sweden.svg  Sweden
Born (1977-08-26) 26 August 1977 (age 40)
Solna, Sweden
Height 1.79 m (5 ft 10 in)
Weight 63 kg (139 lb)
Sport Swimming
Strokes butterfly, freestyle
Club Täby Sim
College team Nebraska Cornhuskers (1997–1999)

Malin Therese Alshammar (born 26 August 1977 in Solna) is a Swedish swimmer who has won three Olympic medals, 25 World Championship medals, and 43 European Championship medals. She is a specialist in short distances races in freestyle and butterfly. She is coached by former Swedish swimmer Johan Wallberg. She is the first female swimmer and the third overall (after Lars Frölander and Derya Büyükuncu) to participate in six Olympic Games. [8]

Sweden constitutional monarchy in Northern Europe

Sweden, officially the Kingdom of Sweden, is a Scandinavian Nordic country in Northern Europe. It borders Norway to the west and north and Finland to the east, and is connected to Denmark in the southwest by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund, a strait at the Swedish-Danish border. At 450,295 square kilometres (173,860 sq mi), Sweden is the largest country in Northern Europe, the third-largest country in the European Union and the fifth largest country in Europe by area. Sweden has a total population of 10.2 million of which 2.4 million has a foreign background. It has a low population density of 22 inhabitants per square kilometre (57/sq mi). The highest concentration is in the southern half of the country.

Swimming (sport) water-based sport

Swimming is an individual or team sport that requires the use of one's entire body to move through water. The sport takes place in pools or open water. Competitive swimming is one of the most popular Olympic sports, with varied distance events in butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, freestyle, and individual medley. In addition to these individual events, four swimmers can take part in either a freestyle or medley relay. A medley relay consists of four swimmers who will each swim a different stroke. The order for a medley relay is: backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, and freestyle. Swimming each stroke requires a set of specific techniques; in competition, there are distinct regulations concerning the acceptable form for each individual stroke. There are also regulations on what types of swimsuits, caps, jewelry and injury tape that are allowed at competitions. Although it is possible for competitive swimmers to incur several injuries from the sport, such as tendinitis in the shoulders or knees, there are also multiple health benefits associated with the sport.

Freestyle swimming category of swimming competition

Freestyle is a category of swimming competition, defined by the rules of the International Swimming Federation (FINA), in which competitors are subject to few limited restrictions on their swimming stroke. Freestyle races are the most common of all swimming competitions, with distances beginning with 50 meters and reaching 1500 meters, also known as the mile. The term 'freestyle stroke' is sometimes used as a synonym for 'front crawl', as front crawl is the fastest swimming stroke. It is now the most common stroke used in freestyle competitions.



Alshammar was born in Solna in 1977, daughter of 7th placed Olympic breaststroke swimmer Britt-Marie Smedh [9] and Krister Alshammar. [10] She started swimming on the team of Sundbybergs IK.

Britt-Marie Smedh is a former Swedish breaststroke swimmer who represented Stockholmspolisens IF. Smedh participated in the 1972 Summer Olympics, finishing 7th in the 100 m breaststroke, 10th in the 200 m breaststroke and 8th in the 4 × 100 m medley relay.

Sundbybergs IK association football club

Sundbybergs IK is a Swedish football club located in Sundbyberg.

At the beginning of her career she was a backstroke swimmer and in 1991, the year Alshammar turned 14, she won her first national short course title on 50 m backstroke at the 1991 Swedish Short Course Swimming Championships. [11] The year after, when she was 14 years old, she won her first national long course senior title, 100 m backstroke at the 1992 Swedish Swimming Championships representing Järfälla SS. [12]

Alshammar was a part of the Swedish team in 1993 European Championships in Sheffield, finishing fourth in the 100 m backstroke final, and in the inaugural World Short Course Championships in Palma de Mallorca. In Palma de Mallorca she took a ninth place in the individual 100 m backstroke, swum the prelims in the silver medal winning 4×100 m freestyle team and came fourth in the 4×100 m medley alongside breaststroker Hanna Jaltner, butterfly swimmer Ellenor Svensson and Linda Olofsson on the freestyle leg.

The 1993 European Aquatics Championships were held in Sheffield, United Kingdom from Tuesday 3 August to Sunday 8 August, in the 50 m pool of the Ponds Forge International Sports Centre. The 21st edition of the event was organised by the LEN.

Sheffield City and Metropolitan borough in England

Sheffield is a city and metropolitan borough in South Yorkshire, England. Historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, its name derives from the River Sheaf, which runs through the city. With some of its southern suburbs annexed from Derbyshire, the city has grown from its largely industrial roots to encompass a wider economic base. The population of the City of Sheffield is 577,800 (mid-2017 est.) and it is one of the eight largest regional English cities that make up the Core Cities Group. Sheffield is the third-largest English district by population. The metropolitan population of Sheffield is 1,569,000.

Hanna Maria Jaltner is a former female breaststroke swimmer from Sweden. She competed for her native country at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, in the Women's 100m Breaststroke and the Women's 4x100m Medley Relay. She was affiliated with the University of California in Berkeley, California.

She first appeared on the very international scene after the 1994 World Aquatics Championships where she made the semifinals in the 100 m backstroke. In the 1996 Olympics, she also participated in this event but did not reach beyond the semifinals.

The 1994 FINA World Aquatics Championships were held in Rome, Italy between September 1 and September 11, 1994.


Backstroke is one of the four swimming styles used in competitive events regulated by FINA, and the only one of these styles swum on the back. This swimming style has the advantage of easy breathing, but the disadvantage of swimmers not being able to see where they are going. It also has a different start from the other three competition swimming styles. The swimming style is similar to an upside down front crawl or freestyle. Both backstroke and front crawl are long-axis strokes. In individual medley backstroke is the second style swum; in the medley relay it is the first style swum.

In 1997, Alshammar moved to the United States and Lincoln, Nebraska to study at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and swim for the Nebraska Cornhuskers swimming and diving team together with Destiny Laurén under the coach Cal Bentz. The time in the United States resulted in one individual 1999 Big 12 Conference Women's Swimming and Diving Championships gold medal, on the 100 yard freestyle. At the NCAA Division 1 Women's Swimming and Diving Championships, she won a silver medal in the 4×200 yard relay team 1998 and fourth in 50 yard freestyle and 100 yard freestyle 1999. Under her first year she was a part of the Nebraska Cornhuskers Big 12 Conference Women's Swimming and Diving Championships team. At a personal level she studied advertising. [13]

Lincoln, Nebraska State capital city in Nebraska, United States

Lincoln is the capital of the U.S. state of Nebraska and the county seat of Lancaster County. The city covers 94.267 square miles (244.150 km2) with a population of 284,736 in 2017. It is the second-most populous city in Nebraska and the 71st-largest in the United States. The city is the economic and cultural anchor of a substantially larger metropolitan area in the southeastern part of the state called the Lincoln Metropolitan and Lincoln-Beatrice Combined Statistical Areas. The statistical area is home to 353,120 people, making it the 106th-largest combined statistical area in the United States.

University of Nebraska–Lincoln public university in Lincoln, Nebraska, United States

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln, often referred to as Nebraska, UNL or NU, is a public research university in the city of Lincoln, in the state of Nebraska in the Midwestern United States. It is the state's oldest university, and the largest in the University of Nebraska system.

Mikaela Laurén Swedish sportsman

Mikaela Laurén is a Swedish professional boxer and former national team swimmer. In boxing she held the WBC female super-welterweight title from 2014 to 2016, and has challenged once for the undisputed female welterweight championship in 2017.

Alshammar also trained at The Race Club, a swimming club founded by Olympic Swimmers Gary Hall, Jr. and his father, Gary Hall, Sr. The Race Club, originally known as "The World Team," was designed to serve as a training group for elite swimmers across the world in preparation for the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. To be able to train with the Race Club, one must either have been ranked in the top 20 in the world the past 3 calendar years or top 3 in their nation in the past year. The Race Club included well-known swimmers as Roland Mark Schoeman, Mark Foster, Ryk Neethling, Ricky Busquet. [14]

Alshammar won her first international medal, a bronze in the 50 m freestyle, at the 1997 European Championships. She developed this stroke into her speciality and won the silver at the 1999 European Championships. She broke through to the top ranks at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney where she won silver medals in the 50 m and 100 m freestyle, both times vanquished by Inge de Bruijn, and a bronze medal with the Swedish relay team.

Since Sydney, she has been a favourite at major international events over short distances. At the World Championships in 2001 she won two silver medals, this time in the 50 m freestyle and 50 m butterfly. In the 2002 European Championships in Berlin she won the 50 m freestyle.

In 2003, she let up to focus on the Athens 2004 Olympic Games. In her only start in the 50 m, she barely missed a medal, coming fourth in the 50 m freestyle. In the 2005 World Aquatics Championships in Montreal, she won a bronze medal in the 50 m butterfly, and took the gold on the same distance at World Championships in Shanghai 2011. By winning three individual events at the 2006 Swedish Short Course Swimming Championships in Uppsala, she took her 73rd gold medal and became the Swedish swimmer with the most individual gold medals on the Swedish Championships, passing Anders Holmertz with one. She took her first gold medal in 1991.

On 17 March 2009, at the Australian Swimming Titles, she broke her own world record in the 50-meter butterfly with a time of 25.44. She was later disqualified by Swimming Australia for wearing two swimsuits. FINA, swimming's governing body, had ratified a new rule only 17 days previously that swimmers can only wear one suit. Alshammar initially appealed the disqualification but withdrew the appeal when the new rule was explained to her. [15]

On 31 July 2011 she won the gold medal at 50 meter freestyle at the 2011 World Aquatics Championships, making her the oldest woman to win an individual gold medal at the long-course world championships. The day before, she had already won the silver medal in the 50 meter butterfly.

During the London Summer Olympics Alshammar participated in both 50 m freestyle, where she received 6th place, and in the 400 m individual medley [16]

In June 2016 she became the first female swimmer and the third overall (after Lars Frölander and Derya Büyükuncu) to participate in six Olympic Games. [8] At the 2016 Summer Olympics, she competed in the 50 m freestyle event. She placed 15th in the semifinals and did not advance to the final. [17]

Alshammar was the flag bearer for Sweden at the opening ceremony of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Personal life

Alshammar is in a relationship with her coach Johan Wallberg. In June 2013 they became parents of a son. [18] She will participate in Let's Dance 2018 broadcast on TV4.

She grew up in Duvbo, a part of Sundbyberg Municipality.


Personal bests

Long course (50 m)

23.882 Aug 2009 World Championships [19]
53.58 (r)26 Jul 2009 World Championships [20]
29.227 May 2005 Trofeu Brasil
1.01.6120 Jan 2012 Western Australia State Open Championships 2012 [21]
25.07 (sf)31 Jul 2009 World Championships [22]
57.5512 Aug 2010 2010 European Championships
Legend: WRWorld record;EREuropean record;NRSwedish record;
Records not set in finals: h – heat; sf – semifinal; r – relay 1st leg; rh – relay heat 1st leg; b – B final; – en route to final mark; tt – time trial

Short course (25 m)

23.27 NR21 Nov 2009 World Cup
52.1717 Mar 2000 World SC Championships [23]
26.62 NR29 Nov 2009 Swedish SC Championships [24]
57.43 (r)26 Nov 2009 Swedish SC Championships [25]
24.38 WR22 Nov 2009 World Cup [26]
55.536 Nov 2010 World Cup
58.07 NR26 Nov 2009 Swedish SC Championships [27]
Legend: WRWorld record;EREuropean record;NRSwedish record;
Records not set in finals: h – heat; sf – semifinal; r – relay 1st leg; rh – relay heat 1st leg; b – B final; – en route to final mark; tt – time trial


See also

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Preceded by

Le Jingyi
Women's 100 metre freestyle
world record holder (short course)

10 December 1999 – 8 August 2005
Succeeded by

Lisbeth Lenton
Preceded by

Le Jingyi
Women's 50 metre freestyle
world record holder (short course)

11 December 1999 – 17 November 2007
Succeeded by

Marleen Veldhuis
Preceded by

Anna-Karin Kammerling
Marleen Veldhuis
Women's 50 metre butterfly
world record holder (long course)

13 June 2007 – 19 April 2009
31 July 2009 – 5 July 2014
Succeeded by

Marleen Veldhuis
Sarah Sjöström
Preceded by

Felicity Galvez
Women's 50 metre butterfly
world record holder (short course)

12 November 2008 – 15 November 2008
17 October 2009 – present
Succeeded by

Marieke Guehrer
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Anna-Karin Kammerling
Female World Cup Overall Winner
2005/2006 – 2007
Succeeded by
Marieke Guehrer
Preceded by
Jessica Hardy
Female World Cup Overall Winner
Succeeded by
Katinka Hosszú
Preceded by
First award
FINA Swimmer of the Year
Succeeded by
Missy Franklin
Preceded by
Johan Olsson, Daniel Richardsson,
Anders Södergren & Marcus Hellner
Svenska Dagbladet Gold Medal
Succeeded by
Lisa Nordén
Olympic Games
Preceded by
Rolf-Göran Bengtsson
Flagbearer for Sweden
2016 Rio de Janeiro
Succeeded by