Therese Alshammar’s Bid To Reach Her Seventh Olympics Comes To An End In Rome

Gian Mattia D'Alberto / lapresse 18-08-2014 Berlino sport 32mi Campionati Europei LEN di nuoto nella foto: Therese Alshammar SWE Gian Mattia D'Alberto / lapresse 18-08-2014 Berlin 32rd LEN European Swimming In the photo: Therese Alshammar SWE
Therese Alshammar - Photo Courtesy: Gian Mattia Dalberto/Lapresse

Therese Alshammar‘s attempt to become the first swimmer to compete at seven Olympics ended at the Sette Colli in Rome.

The Swede’s first Games was at Atlanta in 1996 and four years later she won two silvers and one bronze medal at Sydney 2000.

The 43-year-old had hoped to secure a spot on Sweden’s 4×100 free team for Tokyo but her time of 57.99 at the Foro Italico on Saturday was roughly two seconds slower than she needed.

She told the Associated Press:

“It was harder than I imagined.

“If you want to race good you have to practice often and this year with the (pandemic) it’s been a different year.”

Gian Mattia D'Alberto / lapresse 23-08-2014 Berlino sport 32mi Campionati Europei LEN di nuoto nella foto: Therese Alshammar SWE Gian Mattia D'Alberto / lapresse 23-08-2014 Berlin 32rd LEN European Swimming In the photo: Therese Alshammar SWE

Photo Courtesy: Gian Mattia Dalberto/Lapresse

Alshammar has two children aged eight and three with partner and coach Johan Wallberg, who also guides triple Rio 2016 medallist Sarah Sjostrom.

She decided to make a comeback at the start of the year after having retired in 2016.

She continued:

“Because of the (pandemic), I trained more but also racing was much harder.

“There was not many competitions to find and I was never good at the 100 in the last part of my career.

“So the 100 hurts more than I could remember.

“Even today — coming out was okay; coming home was terribly hard.”

Alshammar, a two-time world champion, will be in Tokyo as a candidate for the International Olympic Committee’s athletes’ commission.

She teaches five and six-year-olds to swim in Stockholm although it’s about giving them confidence and happiness in the water rather than unearthing the next Olympian.

She said:

“No. I’m looking to help people find joy and happiness in sports and healthy habits for life.

“If you can make someone who cannot swim feel comfortable and safe in the water, it’s the biggest smile on my face and it’s a great reward for everyone.”

“We call it starfish. All they do is lay on their back with their arms out and smile.”

 


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1 comment

  1. avatar
    Gail Nobbelin

    Wonderful accomplishment, still contributing to the sport.