Multi-Olympic Medal Contender Sarah Sjostrom Breaks Elbow

With fewer than 200 days until the postponed 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, a potentially big blow has been dealt to the women’s sprint free and fly events.

Olympic champion and world record holder Sarah Sjostrom revealed today that she slipped on the ice and broke her elbow while visiting a friend in her native Sweden. Her Instagram page shows the 27-year-old’s arm in a cast spanning her hand to nearly her shoulder, supported by a sling, after the incident.

In her own words, Sjostrom said, “Unfortunately I’ve got some bad news this snowy Sunday morning from Stockholm. Yesterday I slipped badly on the ice and broke my elbow when I fell on the ground. It’s obviously very shi**y timing and I feel devastated, but at the same time I’m determined and motivated to come back stronger then ever. I’ve seen athletes who come back stronger after injuries and they are my big inspiration now. Surgery is scheduled tomorrow. I have an amazing support team around me, and they will help me with rehabilitation.”

Swedish team doctor Rene Tour told the media today regarding Sjostrom’s recovery, “It is difficult to say exactly how long it will take.

“She will have surgery tomorrow. The conditions become very clear when you do the operation. So we’ll know more about the timing perspective then.”

Tour said that Sjostrom was very calm about the situation, stating, “It was a very difficult afternoon for her. But Sarah is a tough person, she’s in good spirits. She will come out of this strong. Her first comment was that it was good that it was the right arm and not the left because she is left-handed.” (SVT Sport)

Anna Hammar, communications manager at the Swedish Swimming Association, told Sportbladet regarding Sjostrom’s Olympic prospects in light of the injury, “Nobody knows.”

Hammar also said, “She is of course sorry that this has happened, but she is in good spirits, we hope for the best for the operation. She is tough and will get through this in a good way, but it is clear that it is unfortunate.” The Swedish Swimming Federation is holding a press conference later today.

Sjostrom was one of the most successful women’s swimmers at the last edition of the Summer Olympic Games in Rio, having collected a trio of individual medals. The Swede’s crowning achievement was topping the women’s 100m butterfly podium, but she also nabbed 200m free silver and 100m free bronze.

More recently at the 2019 FINA World Championships, Sjostrom went on a tear, earning 5 individual medals. She topped the 50m butterfly podium and snagged silver in the 100m fly and 50m free. She also collected bronze in the 100m free and 200m free.

We have reached out to Sjostrom for comments on her situation.

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ZanBai
7 months ago

Damn.

PBJSwimming
Reply to  ZanBai
7 months ago

It’s very unfortunate for her and the other swimmers. She is a great competitor!

Skoorbnagol
7 months ago

Could still win the 50free.
Maybe have to make some selfish decisions, 100free 100fly 50free and multiple relays, will be a challenge now.
Good luck to her tho, best female swimmer on planet barring the odd American.

Troyy
Reply to  Skoorbnagol
7 months ago

If she were still on the fence about the 200 free she’s probably not now.

Skoorbnagol
Reply to  Troyy
7 months ago

Agree
Stand alone swims
She could win 50/100/200free 100fly
Mixed with H/SF/F/relays with a broken elbow she could come away with nothing.

coach
Reply to  Skoorbnagol
7 months ago

Barring the odd American?

AnEn
Reply to  coach
7 months ago

Agreed. Sjöstrom is far more versatile than Ledecky + she swims event where there is real competition. Naturally more people swim the 50/100/200 free and the 100 fly than the 400/800/1500 free, so it is clearly more difficult to win those events. I always thought that Hosszu (in her prime) and Sjöstrom were more impressive than Ledecky.

Andrew
Reply to  AnEn
7 months ago

Yeah, because this some podunk highschool meet where there are only 2 entries in the 400. Dumbest thing I’ve read all day.

Waader
Reply to  Andrew
7 months ago

Is it dumb to say that the 400/800/1500 free are less competitive than the 100 free/fly?!?

DistanceSwimmer
Reply to  Waader
7 months ago

They are less competitive when you work as hard and are as dominant as Ledecky. The only reason they are less competitive is because Katie Ledecky IS so impressive.

spaziebahhh
Reply to  DistanceSwimmer
7 months ago

Yeah I’m sure Simona Quadarella didn’t work nearly as hard as Ledecky to go 8:14 at Worlds last year. Slacker.

Coach
Reply to  spaziebahhh
7 months ago

8:14 is a long way from 8:04

NoFlyKick
Reply to  Coach
7 months ago

Sans anyone named Ledecky, 8:14 is bloody fast!

Coach Mike 1952
Reply to  Coach
7 months ago

a VERY long way

Corn Pop
Reply to  DistanceSwimmer
7 months ago

the 400/800/1500 went out of fashion for a generation after a stellar decade 1978-88.THere was no movement until Laure revived he evens & added glamour..Katie brought mid _distance free backo where they belong. 400m = -10secs, 800=-20 secs & 1500=- 40 secs from Tracey Wickham of 1978.

Sarah sits very well against Mary T ‘s1979 = -81 100 fly with a 2.5 secs. Her 100 free is even bigger drop I think.

AnEn
Reply to  Andrew
7 months ago

Please think next time before you answer one of my comments or don’t bother to answer at all.

spaziebahhh
Reply to  AnEn
7 months ago

“Please agree with me next time before you answer one of my comments or don’t bother to answer at all.” – AnEn’s vibe for the last month.

AnEn
Reply to  spaziebahhh
7 months ago

Nope, i don’t care if you agree with me or not, but if you disagree with me and want to quote my comment, then please at least try to reason. It is a fact that certain events are less competitive than other events. If you don’t agree with my view that the distance freestyle events are less competitive, then at least try to explain yourself. You make it seem as if i am the person who is in the way of a reasonable discussion, but in reality the art of leading a fact-based discussion seems to have been lost on most people on here.

Jay
Reply to  AnEn
7 months ago

comment image&imgrefurl=https://www.washingtonpost.com/olympics/2016/live-updates/rio-games/scores-and-latest-news/katie-ledecky-hold-off-swedens-sarah-sjostrom-to-win-200-meter-freestyle/&tbnid=zyeY3bOqADvlaM&vet=1&docid=GJ6hF6ZgxjfY3M&w=960&h=728&hl=en-us&source=sh/x/im

Mike
Reply to  AnEn
7 months ago

The more people swim it argument is a joke. You could argue that those that enter the distance races are far tougher, committed athletes so it is harder to win those. Both of these arguments are wrong at the elite level. To be the best in the world there is no “easier” path.

AnEn
Reply to  Mike
7 months ago

Nonsense. It is also far more impressive to win the 100 m in athletics than to win the hammer throw. Some events are far more popular and therefore far more people compete in them. You think being the best basketball player in the world isn’t more impressive/difficult than being the best water polo player?

Monday Morning Grind
Reply to  AnEn
7 months ago

You’re argument is like saying it was easier to win an Olympic gold medal in the 1900s than it is in the 2000s because less people did sports. Less people did sports because it was a harder path to walk in life. That doesn’t making winning the path any easier. If anything, being the best at walking the harder path is more impressive than being the best at walking the easier path.

AnEn
Reply to  Monday Morning Grind
7 months ago

It certainly was far easier back then to win an olympic gold medal, i didn’t think that any reasonable person would deny that. When 90 % of the world population didn’t have access to sports, most of the best talents never even got to try a sport, so naturally for those people who were fortunate enough to be able to afford competing, there was much less competition.

Tea Rex
Reply to  AnEn
7 months ago

Difference is Ledecky is ahead by a full body length… 1/8th of the way through the race. Then she gets out, makes a sandwich, eats it, swims a lap with a glass of milk on her head, drinks it, finishes the race and still wins by a lot.

AnEn
Reply to  Tea Rex
7 months ago

So this is in support of the claim that distance freestyle events are equally as competitive as the 100 free for example?

Samesame
7 months ago

Here is to a quick recovery. McKeon and MacNeil would much rather race a healthy Sjostrom.

AnEn
Reply to  Samesame
7 months ago

McKeon? Is she a contender in any event that Sjöstrom swims? I think the people that would “profit” most from this would be Manuel and MacNeil.

Swimmer
Reply to  AnEn
7 months ago

Bronze in Gwangju in 100 fly?

AnEn
Reply to  Swimmer
7 months ago

Cool, that doesn’t make her a gold medal contender.

Monday Morning Grind
Reply to  AnEn
7 months ago

Incorrect. That arguably makes her the third highest gold medal contender. Thus if the highest gold medal contender is weakened, her stock will rise.

AnEn
Reply to  Monday Morning Grind
7 months ago

What a horrible comment.
1) Just because she was 3rd at the last world championships, doesn’t mean that she was the 3rd best athlete in that event back then.
2) Even if she would have been the 3rd best athlete in that event back then, it doesn’t mean that she is still the 3rd best athlete in that event today.
3) I never said that her “stock didn’t rise”, but her stock can rise while still not becoming a gold medal contender.
4) Not sure how McKeon is supposed to beat MacNeil or the chinese girl. Personally i would also consider Shkurdai and Curzan bigger gold medal contenders (given their age).

Monday Morning Grind
Reply to  AnEn
7 months ago

She was, quite literally, the third best 100 flier at the time. Hence placing third. I don’t know about you, but a young swimmer on an improvement trend (who has had consistent pool time during a pandemic) and was 3rd in the previous season would definitely be a “contender” in my book.

AnEn
Reply to  Monday Morning Grind
7 months ago

1) No, just because you place 3rd, doesn’t mean you were 3rd best at that time, it just means that you were the 3rd fastest finisher in that race.
2) Not sure you can call a female athlete in swimming young, when she will turn 27 before the olympics, especially when you compare her to girls like Curzan or Shkurda who are almost a decade younger and not much slower.
3) I feel like you are stuck in a loop. I explained why someone who finished 3rd isn’t necessarily a contender and your answer is “she is a contender because she was 3rd”. Sorry, i am not sure on where to go from here … (it would probably… Read more »

Monday Morning Grind
Reply to  AnEn
7 months ago

You’re the only person who thinks placing third doesn’t make you the third best at that given time. Even if someone could arguably be faster and was not in the race (Duncan Scott, Zach Apple, or Ryan Held in the men’s 100 free last year), if they’re not in the race how can they really be “contenders.” If you have a lane you have a chance, and if you don’t….

If we don’t race to see “who is the best tonight” then why race at all? Just give the gold medal to the current world record holder, the highest seed, or the person who won prelims and be done with it.

Please re-read your comments yourself. The only reason… Read more »

AnEn
Reply to  Monday Morning Grind
7 months ago

At this point i would prefer it if you wouldn’t answer my comments anymore. If you don’t understand the basics of discussion/logic, i am not interested in “discussing” with you.
You saying “you’re the only person who thinks placing third doesn’t make you the third best at that given time” is another proof of that. You can’t possibly know what every person on this planet thinks about my take. Either you don’t know what “you’re the only person who …” means or you are making up things for the sake of your argument.

Tyson
Reply to  AnEn
7 months ago

3rd 100 fly
4th 100 free
Both at 2019 worlds and she’s been improving ever since she is really underestimated and could be a real shock at Tokyo

AnEn
Reply to  Tyson
7 months ago

Yeah, cool i can look up the results myself. So i guess Yan Zibei is a gold medal contender in men’s 100 breast, Clareburt is a gold medal contender in men’s 400 IM, Le Clos is a gold medal contender in men’s 100/200 fly, Grinev is a gold medal contender in men’s 100 free, Greenbank is a gold medal contender in men’s 200 back, Köhler is a gold medal contender in women’s 800 free, Kesely is a gold medal contender in women’s 400 free and Masse is a gold medal contender in women’s 200 back. Positions often don’t tell the whole story. Sometimes someone who finishes 5th or 6th in an event is closer to a gold medal (more likely… Read more »

Samesame
Reply to  AnEn
7 months ago

And sometimes not. McKeon is a gold medal contender. Full stop.

AnEn
Reply to  Samesame
7 months ago

Thanks for the explanation, not it makes sense.

Aquajosh
Reply to  AnEn
7 months ago

I think you are confusing Emma McKeon and Kaylee McKeown (who are totally unrelated) who swim completely different events. Emma McKeon is the most consistent female Aussie swimmer besides Emily Seebohm. She could very well medal or win (if you have a lane, you have a chance) the 100 free, 200 free, and/or the 100 fly. The latest Chinese contender is unproven in international competition. Emma McKeon swims fastest when the big lights are on.

AnEn
Reply to  Aquajosh
7 months ago

No, obviously not. McKeown clearly has a bigger chance at gold (in the 200 IM) than McKeon has in any event.

Corn Pop
Reply to  AnEn
7 months ago

Emma won the 200 Free selection trials & beat the eventualsilver medallist Ariarne. he 1.54 field is more crowded but Emma does have the fastest 100 of all contenders bar Sarah.

Aquajosh
Reply to  AnEn
7 months ago

Did you miss the part where she just recently swam 56.6 fly 52.4 free at an in-season meet? Or that she already has 4 Olympic and 17 World Championship medals and was setting PBs in 2019?

Torchbearer
Reply to  AnEn
7 months ago

McKeon has won 17 medals at the WC..and is improving. Count her out at your peril!

jeff
Reply to  AnEn
1 month ago

this comment did not age well

Nono
7 months ago

This is so horrible.
I hope she recovers fast and be ready before Olympics..

Ytho
7 months ago

Wishing her a fast recovery. The momentum she will build going into the olympics will compensate for any missed training.

Fraser Thorpe
7 months ago

Saw this on her Insta – devastating blow. She’d also just swim a 24.07 a few hours earlier.

John26
Reply to  Fraser Thorpe
7 months ago

Did she?

Ol' Longhorn
7 months ago

Good that it happened in a non-Olympics year.

Mr Piano
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
7 months ago

😭😭😭

Swimswim5859
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
7 months ago

Lmao all these swim fans in denial that the Olympics will be cancelled this summer as more variants come. They just can’t accept. The fact that their olympics will have to wait.

Irish Ringer
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
7 months ago

Meanwhile, the NBA still going strong and the NFL seems to have done alright too concluding with the Super Bowl tonight.

Mr Piano
7 months ago

This is heartbreaking. But it’s not impossible to still win gold. 50 free is probably her best bet. The greatest will find a way

Last edited 7 months ago by Mr Piano
Human Ambition
Reply to  Mr Piano
7 months ago

I have seen several elbow fractures that heal slowly and don’t allow the same range of motion after. Hopefully Sarah’s heals like in the textbook.

Torchbearer
Reply to  Human Ambition
7 months ago

Yes, elbows are very tricky, it is a complicated joint…Sadly, I would imagine butterfly chances are gone… 🙁

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Retta Race

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