Sarah Sjostrom Didn’t Start Swimming Until She Was 10

Are you worried that your swimmer is behind because she got a late start in the sport, or because she didn’t start swimming year round until she was past her 10th birthday?

Look no further for your hope than Swedish swimmer Sarah Sjostrom, who didn’t play any sports until she was 10 years old. By 15, she was a World Champion, which shows that success in this sport can be sudden and unpredictable.

Sarah, who has apparently been given the nickname “GOLD BAE” by her World Cup teammates, stood up for an interview with US National Teamer Michael Andrew at the World Cup stop in Doha, Qatar

Other good nuggets from the interview:

  • Sarah, who already has 3 Olympic Games under her belt at 25 years old, thinks she can make 3 more. She will turn 35 within 2 weeks of the 2028 Olympics, but has a role model in longevity from her own country: Therese Alshammar, who raced at 6 Olympic Games. That includes 2016 in Rio, where she was Sweden’s flag bearer at 39-years old.
  • Sarah is left-handed
  • Sarah recognizes that she sometimes gets angry after a race that she’s not happy with, but moves on very quickly – mirroring a quality frequently cited among the world’s greatest athletes.

Sjostrom is a 3-time Olympic medalist, winning the 100 fly in Rio, placing 2nd in the 200 free, and taking 3rd in the 100 free. She’s also a 10-time World Champion (7 in long course, 3 in short course), winning her first World Championship in the 100 fly in 2009 when she was only 15-years old.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Brian Goodell
3 years ago


Michael Metzger
3 years ago

Great interview!

3 years ago

The comments section for this article is cancer.

Cool interview swimmer to swimmer.

Becky D
Reply to  Joe
3 years ago

Everything gives you cancer. There’s no cure. There’s no answer.

Reply to  Braden Keith
3 years ago

There are quite a few english vowels and double vowels that sound similar to the swedish “ö”, when they are followed by an “r”. Though, I doubt any of them would work as a substitute for either “ö” in “Sjöström”. I’ve listed a few examples below. I regrettably couldn’t find any words starting with “Sj” that had “ö”-sounding vowels.

Stern, learn, swirl, word, slur, smurf, spur, squirm.

The pattern with “ö”-sounding english vowels, seems to be that they are always followed by an “r”, even in cases of the “ea” and “ui” double vowels, such as “learn”, and “squirm”. Unfortunately there’s no “r” directly following either “ö” in “Sjöström”. But if we pretend that it was actually “Sjö(r)ström”, which vowel(s)… Read more »

3 years ago

Great interviews. Love my lefties!

3 years ago

One more good nugget:
Sarah Sjöström holds the most world records in women’s swimming with six, all individual (four in long course, and two in short course)

Caeleb Dressel Will Win 9 Gold Medals in Tokyo
3 years ago

Rowdy Gaines started swimming at age 17. Even more impressive.

running start to touch backstroke flags
3 years ago

The “beautiful” Sarah Sjostrom. Lol. Nice woman but I live in Tokyo. The levels of every day beauty here are MIND BOGGLING..

SUM Ting Wong

True authentic Japan had ladies from the islands with tattooed heads . Americans in 45 apparently objected.



About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

Read More »