Sports

Sport activities are a national movement with half of the population actively participating in organised sporting activities. The two main spectator sports are football and ice hockey. Second to football, horse sports have the highest number of practitioners who are mostly women. Thereafter, golf, track and field, and the team sports of handball, floorball, basketball and bandy are the most popular.

The Swedish national men’s ice hockey team, affectionately known as Tre Kronor (English: Three Crowns; the national symbol of Sweden), is regarded as one of the best in the world. The team has won the World Championships nine times, placing them third in the all-time medal count. Tre Kronor also won Olympic gold medals in 1994 and 2006. In 2006, Tre Kronor became the first national hockey team to win both the Olympic and world championships in the same year. The Swedish national football team has seen some success at the World Cup in the past, finishing second when they hosted the tournament in 1958, and third twice, in 1950 and 1994. Athletics has enjoyed a surge in popularity due to several successful athletes in recent years, such as Carolina Klüft and Stefan Holm.

Sweden hosted the 1912 Summer Olympics, Equestrian at the 1956 Summer Olympics and the FIFA World Cup in 1958. Other big sports events include the UEFA Euro 1992, 1995 FIFA Women’s World Cup, 1995 World Championships in Athletics, UEFA Women’s Euro 2013, and several championships of ice hockey, curling, athletics, skiing, bandy, figure skating and swimming.

Successful football players include Gunnar Nordahl, Gunnar Gren, Nils Liedholm, Henrik Larsson, Fredrik Ljungberg, Caroline Seger, Lotta Schelin, Hedvig Lindahl, and Zlatan Ibrahimović. Successful tennis players include former world number 1 players Björn Borg, Mats Wilander and Stefan Edberg. Other famous Swedish athletes include the heavyweight boxing champion and International Boxing Hall of Famer Ingemar Johansson, World Golf Hall of Famer Annika Sörenstam, and multiple World Championships and Olympics medalist in table tennis Jan-Ove Waldner. Due to its northerly latitude numerous world class winter sports athletes have come from Sweden. This includes alpine skiers Ingemar Stenmark, Anja Pärson and Pernilla Wiberg as well as cross country-skiers Gunde Svan, Thomas Wassberg, Charlotte Kalla and Marcus Hellner, all Olympic gold medalists.

In 2016 The Swedish Poker Federation (Svepof) has joined The International Federation of Poker (IFP).