Last summer Jennie Johansson of Sweden had the greatest success of her swimming career winning the 50 breaststroke at the 2015 World Championships in Kazan, a performance that earned her Stockholm District’s Sportsperson of the Year.
The award is voted on by the Stockholm Sports Federation and the Sports Journalist Club of Stockholm each year. There have been three other swimmers to win the award in the past:
- Maja Reichard (2012)
- Therese Alshammar (2000, 2007 & 2010)
- Sarah Sjostrom (2009)
“It is great to get this award,” Johansson told the Swedish Sports Confederation.
10,000 SEK will be given to SK Neptun, the club she represents, for children and youth activities, “I was happy when I heard that I can help them. I thought swimming was fun when I was little so it feels good to help with the children and youth activities.”
As a young swimmer Johansson did not take swimming as seriously as many of her competitors until the age of 17 when she won the Swedish Junior Championships in the 100 breaststroke, “That’s when I felt that I had a talent for swimming and that I should train seriously.”
Johansson competed at a major international competition for the first time at the 2010 European Swimming Championships where she won silver in the 100 breaststroke and bronze in the 50 breaststroke. She went on to represent Sweden at the 2011, 2013 and 2015 World Championships, the 2014 European Swimming Championships and the 2012 Olympics in London.
Before Kazan she had her strongest performance at the 2014 European Swimming Championships where she finished second to Lithuanian Ruta Meilutyte in both the 50 and 100 breaststroke.
Winning gold in Kazan at the age of 27 Johansson hopes to motivate athletes in their twenties to continue to chase their dreams, “That I won when I was 27 years old shows that one does not need to be a super talent when they are 15 years old. I hope I can be an inspiration to others who are thinking about quitting at 20 years to instead continue working with their goals.”