The Swedish swimming superstar was one of the headlining acts of the Energy Standard training group that preceded the International Swimming League team and was based out of the Gloria Sports Arena in Antalya, Turkey.
She lived and trained at the hybrid resort/training facility on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea for several years in a training group led by James Gibson and Tom Rushton and funded by the ISL’s founder Konstantin Grigorishin. That group was, at its peak, one of the top professional training groups in the world.
The team broke up amid the challenges of the onrushing COVID-19 pandemic, and has so far not shown any indications of reforming – at least not to its prior state in Gloria.
Some portions of the group continue to train under Rushton on a sort of worldwide tour, with athletes traveling to train at various camp locations and compete at big international competitions.
Rushton is currently in Dubai training a group that includes 2012 Olympic gold medalist and giant-slayer Chad Le Clos (South Africa), World Record holder and Olympic double silver medalist Siobhan Haughey (Hong Kong), Olympic semifinalist Kregor Zirk (Estonia), Olympian and Czech record-breaker Simona Kubova (Czech Republic), and Danish swimmers Mathias Rysgaard (49.30 in the 100 free) and Kevin Witt Christensen (49.70 in the 100 free).
Sjostrom, meanwhile, is going to Gloria for a one week training camp with Swedish team before the group heads to the Mediterranean Mare Nostrum series that begins in Canet, France on May 22.
The two groups will eventually collide there: Rushton plans to take most of his group to the Mare Nostrum Series as well (minus the two danes). Those meets have long been among the more-anticipated in-season international meets, and with the unique timing and circumstances of this year’s World Championships, huge fields are expected.
Sjostrom was the 2016 Olympic gold medalist in the 100 fly, also winning a silver in the 200 free and bronze in the 100 free at those Games. In 2021, she slipped on ice and broke her elbow just a few months before the Olympics, requiring surgery. She still fought back on an accelerated timeline to win a silver medal in the 50 free.
Sjostrom is also an 8-time World Champion in long course and 6-time World Champion in short course. She currently holds 5 World Records, including relays, which ties her with American Kelsi Dahlia for the most active World Records by a woman. Her four in individual long course events are the most by any swimmer in the world of any gender, followed by American Katie Ledecky with three.