Sarah Sjöström's guilty pleasure
Sarah is arguably the best female swimmer in the world right now. She has countless Olympic and World titles paired with World Records to match. A flying Swedish meatball that is now so popular she even beats one of the world’s most adored sports stars, Zlatan Ibrahimovic at their Swedish People’s choice awards two years running.
Sarah on her fear of Flying
Sarah: “My worst fear is flying, which is probably the worst thing a professional athlete can have. I never use to be this bad but as I have gotten older I’m getting worse. My worst flight I’ve ever taken was from London to Rio, the plane was shaking in the middle of the night so violently from turbulence I thought we were going down! It gets better when I fly with team mates or friends but when sitting next to a stranger I really start to panic! “
Tips for making flying easier?
Sarah: “I always have my headphones in. Half the time I don’t even listen to music! The quietness soothes me. Sometimes though I do listen to podcasts as the voices sooth” - Sarah listens to a variety of podcasts from the creation of the modern Olympic Games to Sweden’s historical heritage. All of these in English. “I listen to English podcasts mostly as I am trying to improve my vocabulary for interviews and my next career”
CVDB: One of my most influential mentors, Ryk Neethling, started preparing me from day one of my international career for day one of the rest of my life. Touch 58 has been the brainchild of mine for many years now, just waiting for the right circumstances to open the doors. Preparing options now for your next step in life takes off the stress and pressure for when it unexpectedly happens. In one of the up-coming blogs I’ll give my best tips on how to go about setting this up.
Life after swimming
Sarah: “I want to work in television, Most probably live commentary and interviews around sport. I really hate it when you finish a race and the journalist asks you the dumbest questions! I think I would be good at this because I know how an athlete is feeling having been in their shoes before. If it was a good or a bad performance the questions should change and not always be the generic “How was your race” which is then followed by the generic answer.”
CVDB: In Andre Agassi’s autobiography "The Open” he calls a spade a spade when it comes to post match interviews. Very few people actually say what they really want to. A mix between sportsmanship, sponsors and what is perceived as the right thing to be said masks the real feeling inside an athlete’s heart. Asking the right questions at the right time can cut through the antiquated answers.
Sarah's guilty pleasure
Sarah: “Interior decorating! Every time I get a bonus from sponsors I take a small chunk of that and renovate a room professionally. My last purchase was a custom designed carpet for the dining room. The colours of the rooms are all dark so that the small detials we add really get highlighted! I only have one room left so I hope I manage to win the overall world cup!”
CVDB: She's well on her way!
Best purchase you've ever made?
Sarah: "Mocha Master coffee machine. The first thing I do in the morning is make a cup of coffee and watch the news."
Sarah: "Sleeping a lot during taper helps me. I try get an extra hour or two every night. Sun is important, mostly because it makes me happy."
Favourite piece of equipment?
"I love my Arena snorkel! I can't do a session without using somewhere"
Lessons from her younger brother
Sarah: "Linus has taught me how to see the small often overlooked details in life. He has autism and this creates a sensory overload but allows him to see a degree of beauty very few people experience. He is 13 years younger than me so I’m kind of like a second mother who helped raise him. I love that he is always just himself. He never cares for what others think."