Victor Johansson “Beyond Thankful” To Be Named To Swedish Olympic Team

It’s been a turbulent last few years for freestyle swimmer Victor Johansson, but the 22-year-old’s perseverance paid off in a big way on Saturday when he learned that he had qualified for Sweden’s 2021 Olympic team.

Johansson went through a gauntlet of medical issues throughout the last two years, including being diagnosed with overtraining syndrome (late 2019), getting COVID-19 (mid-2020), and then being put on a ventilator because of a bacterial infection (late 2020).

As he made his way through recovery and back into full training, the USC Trojan targeted the Sette Colli Trophy in Rome in late June in order to qualify for the Swedish Olympic team, eyeing the FINA ‘A’ standard of 7:54.31 in the men’s 800 freestyle.

Owning a best time of 7:49.77 from April 2018, Johansson ended up falling just shy of the ‘A’ cut in 7:55.18, and thought his Olympic hopes would have to be put on hold for three more years—even posting on Instagram acknowledging that he had missed the team.


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A post shared by Victor Johansson (@victorjohanssoonn)

“I was okay with not going to Tokyo, and already had my eyes on Paris,” Johansson told SwimSwam.

However, after spending a week racing with teammates at the Swedish Championships in Halmstad, Johansson was told by his coach that he was indeed going to Tokyo. He chronicled their exchange on a second Instagram post:


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A post shared by Victor Johansson (@victorjohanssoonn)

Johansson expressed nothing but gratitude for being named to the team, especially after going through a hellish few years.

“I’m just so happy and thankful that the Swedish Swimming Federation and the Swedish Olympic Committee still believe in me,” the 2019 World University Games gold medalist said.

“What I had to go through in 2019 and 2020, are things most people don’t experience in a lifetime.”

Johansson is the 10th swimmer named to Sweden’s Olympic team:

“I am beyond thankful for this opportunity,” Johansson added. “So glad I can go, hopefully put up some best times and gain experience for Paris!”

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4 months ago

Congratulations, Victor! Very happy for you!

4 months ago

How was he able to qualify? Did he go under a Fina B cut?

Reply to  Math
4 months ago

Yes. Must’ve been offered a place by FINA and despite having the toughest selection standards, Swedish Olympic Committee said yes.

Reply to  Nick
4 months ago

So they denied the 50 yo dude who tried to go as a citizen of some small African nation and they gave the spot to Victor? Good decision

Reply to  Taa
4 months ago

I think FINA base it on when you do the qualifying time and how you are ranked, Victor did his times during the qualifying period and were a few 1/10ths of second of the A cut while the 50’ish year old swimmer did not have a official qualifying time during the qualifying period (starting March 1st, 2019). I think being a few 1/10ths of second of the A cuts in 800 & 1500 free puts you fairly high on the modified ranking.

4 months ago

Fight On!

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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