Thursday, 4 July 2013

Swedish swim stars form new company set out to lift swimming

PARTNERS: Sarah Sjöström, Lars Frölander and Stefan Nystrand are teaming up - to help young swimmers improve.
Lars Frölander, Stefan Nystrand and Sarah Sjöström are some of Swedens biggest swimming names in the nation's history. Now they've formed a company aiming to help the Scandinavian nations aspiring swimmers to a higher level.

Champions Crew Swimming, a stock noted company planned to start up this fall, are targeting young swimmers who wants to take their swimming to a higher level, writes Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet.

"We will try to stimulate and motivate Swedish age-swimming to get even better."

Speaking at the Swedish National Championships in Halmstad, Lars Frölander, who originally intended his career after swimming to be separated from the sport he's excelled in and made a living from for the last 20 years, explained why the swim stars have joined together.

"The main idea of the project is to use the experience we as elite swimmers have gained throughout the years. We are quite strong brands, profiles and idols for young swimmers so I believe we could have a great influence in their motivation to get better", Frölander said.

The 39 year old retired after the Olympics last year, but has returned to the pool for the ongoing Swedish championships, only to see his 12 year winning streak in the 50 meter butterfly broken. Karlskrona (and Texas A&M)-swimmer Henrik Lindau beat the living legend.

That should not interfere too much with the six time Olympian and 2000 olympic 100 butterfly champion's standing in Swedish swimming.

The business idea is a website set up with a variety of different training methods and targets for swimmers to report and aspire to. Swimmers will have their own profile, and the different targets will have different levels - so that there are always things to reach and do better. Profiles will be more or less open, meaning that users will be able to measure themselves against opponents and see how their own development is going.

SILVER MEDALISTS: During the World Short Course
Championships in Shanghai (2006), Nystrand (far right) and
Frölander next to him teamed up to form part of the silver
winning 4x100 meters freestyle team together with Jonas
Tilly (left) and Marcus Pihl.
There has been a debate in Sweden if local talent is training enough, particularly as the nation has a tendency of being a force in the sprint-events, but less so in the middle-distance and long distance events.

"It's not about training harder, but smarter. To improve in different skills. Sometimes I think we focus on the wrong things," says Frölander.

When the young swimmers reach different targets they will be able to buy performance medals marking their achievement. This is intended to be the company's main income. If the company makes money, some of it is intended to go back into the clubs.

"Some of the money from buying such a medal will go to the clubs, and the rest into the company for further development, where we are also looking to help our best swimmers in the race against the world's elite," says Lars Frölander.

And if anybody wonders about the 39-year olds stature in Sweden, just listen to the newly-crowned swedish champion Lindau after beating the retired old man by 0.07 of a second.

"This is huge for me. Lars has always been an idol for me, ever since I started swimming. I've always thought that sometime I have to beat him. And now I have. It feels great" said the 23-year old gunning for Rio.

PS: Nordic countries Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland are all having their countries national long course championships this weekend.

Norway: Results and live-streaming
Sweden: Results
Denmark: Results
Finland: Results


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  2. Love the post. Getting others involved in swimming is great and always fun to watch! Great post, makes me want to go swimming right now!

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