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Who dominates the sports scene in Sweden?

From the ice hockey rinks to the soccer fields, who are the most popular athletes from Sweden?

Discover the prominent Swedish sports figures and learn how they’ve made an impact in their respective fields.

Also check out our post about the most popular soccer players from Sweden.

#1 Zlatan Ibrahimović

  • 🏆 Sport(s): Soccer
  • 🎂 Born in: 1981
  • 🥇 Biggest Achievement: Multiple league titles in several countries

Zlatan Ibrahimović, one of the most prolific and charismatic soccer players of his generation, has showcased his incredible skills and goal-scoring abilities in various leagues across Europe.

Off the field, Zlatan’s philanthropy and larger-than-life persona have made him a global icon, transcending the world of soccer.

#2 Björn Borg

  • 🏆 Sport(s): Tennis
  • 🎂 Born in: 1956
  • 🥇 Biggest Achievement: 11 Grand Slam Singles Titles

Björn Borg, widely regarded as one of the greatest tennis players of all time, dominated the sport during the late 1970s and early 1980s. His impressive accomplishments, composed style of play, and exceptional endurance earned him a legendary status in the tennis world.

Post-retirement, Borg has been active in charity work and has established a successful sports apparel business.

#3 Ingemar Stenmark

  • 🏆 Sport(s): Alpine Skiing
  • 🎂 Born in: 1956
  • 🥇 Biggest Achievement: 2 Olympic Gold Medals and 3 World Championships Gold Medals

Ingemar Stenmark, considered one of the best alpine skiers of all time, dominated the slalom and giant slalom events during his career, setting numerous records and earning multiple prestigious titles.

Stenmark’s success helped popularize skiing in Sweden, inspiring future generations to pursue the sport.

#4 Annika Sörenstam

  • 🏆 Sport(s): Golf
  • 🎂 Born in: 1970
  • 🥇 Biggest Achievement: 10 Major Championships and 72 LPGA Tour Wins

Annika Sörenstam, one of the most successful and influential female golfers in history, dominated the sport during her active years, garnering numerous awards and accolades.

Off the course, Sörenstam engages in various philanthropic activities and runs a successful golf academy.

#5 Henrik Lundqvist

  • 🏆 Sport(s): Ice Hockey
  • 🎂 Born in: 1982
  • 🥇 Biggest Achievement: Olympic Gold Medal and Vezina Trophy

Henrik Lundqvist, one of the most accomplished and popular goalies in the NHL, has become synonymous with the New York Rangers. Known for his focus, consistency, and exceptional reflexes, Lundqvist has enjoyed a successful career in the NHL.

Off the ice, Lundqvist’s charitable efforts and fashion-forward ventures have garnered him widespread recognition and admiration.

#6 Anja Pärson

  • 🏆 Sport(s): Alpine Skiing
  • 🎂 Born in: 1981
  • 🥇 Biggest Achievement: 7 World Championships Gold Medals and an Olympic Gold Medal

Anja Pärson, one of Sweden’s most successful alpine skiers, achieved remarkable success in her career, capturing multiple medals and championships across various skiing events.

Since retiring, Pärson has worked as a sports analyst and is dedicated to promoting the sport and inspiring future generations.

#7 Peter Forsberg

  • 🏆 Sport(s): Ice Hockey
  • 🎂 Born in: 1973
  • 🥇 Biggest Achievement: 2 Stanley Cups and 2 Olympic Gold Medals

Peter Forsberg, known for his exceptional playmaking ability and aggressive style, is considered one of the greatest ice hockey players of all time. Forsberg’s success in NHL and international competitions have earned him a prominent place in ice hockey history.

Post-retirement, Forsberg has ventured into various businesses and has remained involved in the sport as an advisor and team executive.

#8 Ingemar Johansson

  • 🏆 Sport(s): Boxing
  • 🎂 Born in: 1932
  • 🥇 Biggest Achievement: World Heavyweight Champion

Ingemar Johansson, one of Sweden’s greatest boxers, etched his name in boxing history by becoming the World Heavyweight Champion in 1959. Known for his powerful right-hand punch, Johansson showcased extraordinary skill and strength inside the ring.

After retiring, Johansson remained involved in boxing as a manager and promoter, and contributed to various charitable causes.

#9 Thomas Wassberg

  • 🏆 Sport(s): Cross-Country Skiing
  • 🎂 Born in: 1956
  • 🥇 Biggest Achievement: 4 Olympic Gold Medals

Thomas Wassberg, one of Sweden’s most successful cross-country skiers, dominated the sport in the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s. His incredible stamina and speed earned him multiple Olympic titles and World Cup victories.

Wassberg’s success played a big part in popularizing cross-country skiing in Sweden, inspiring countless athletes in the process.

#10 Therese Alshammar

  • 🏆 Sport(s): Swimming
  • 🎂 Born in: 1977
  • 🥇 Biggest Achievement: 3 Olympic Medals and multiple World Championships gold medals

Therese Alshammar, a celebrated Swedish swimmer, has enjoyed a long and illustrious career in competitive swimming. Her dedication and consistent performance in various international events have earned her numerous medals and accolades.

Since retiring, Alshammar continues to be associated with swimming as a coach, sharing her vast knowledge and experience with the future generation of swimmers.

#11 Markus Näslund

  • 🏆 Sport(s): Ice Hockey
  • 🎂 Born in: 1973
  • 🥇 Biggest Achievement: 5-time NHL All-Star and Pearson Award winner

Markus Näslund, one of Sweden’s greatest ice hockey forwards, enjoyed significant success in the NHL. Known for his goal-scoring ability and leadership, Näslund became a fan favorite, especially during his time with the Vancouver Canucks as team captain.

Since retiring, Näslund has continued to contribute to the sport in various roles, including coaching and management.

#12 Pernilla Wiberg

  • 🏆 Sport(s): Alpine Skiing
  • 🎂 Born in: 1970
  • 🥇 Biggest Achievement: 2 Olympic Gold Medals, 4 World Championships gold medals

Pernilla Wiberg, a top Swedish alpine skier, enjoyed a successful career throughout the 1990s, showcasing her remarkable talent and versatility by winning multiple medals across various skiing disciplines.

Post-retirement, Wiberg has focused on mentoring young skiers and working as a ski commentator and analyst.

#13 Magdalena Forsberg

  • 🏆 Sport(s): Biathlon
  • 🎂 Born in: 1967
  • 🥇 Biggest Achievement: 6 World Championships gold medals

Magdalena Forsberg, one of Sweden’s most successful biathletes, dominated the sport in the late 1990s and 2000s. Her incredible skiing speed and shooting accuracy earned her numerous accolades and championship titles.

Since retiring, Forsberg has pursued various ventures, including working as a biathlon commentator, and has been involved in environmental and sporting initiatives.


Who is the greatest athlete in the history of Sweden?

Björn Borg, a professional tennis player, is considered the greatest athlete in Sweden’s history.

Who is the most popular female athlete from Sweden?

Charlotte Kalla, a cross-country skier, is the most popular female athlete from Sweden.

Which sport has the most popular athletes from Sweden?

Ice Hockey holds the record for producing the most popular athletes from Sweden.

Which athlete from Sweden is the most popular internationally?

Zlatan Ibrahimović, a renowned footballer, is the most internationally recognized athlete from Sweden.

Max is a sports enthusiast who loves all kinds of ball and water sports. He founded & runs stand-up-paddling.org (#1 German Paddleboarding Blog), played competitive Badminton and Mini Golf (competed on national level in Germany), started learning ‘real’ Golf and dabbled in dozens of other sports & activities.

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