When Sweden is in the news, the news is often sexy good. It’s hard to think of a more fun loving country on earth. Maybe here are some of the reasons why.
Drew Curtis, the founder and an administrator of Fark.com, an Internet news aggregator site had this to say about Sweden. “I love Sweden. The entire world should be like Sweden. They all like to drink and get naked, and the women are hot. I can’t think of a better nation on the planet.”
Well it’s certainly hard to argue with that logic.
Someone else clearly agrees. Here is what the fine Swedish actor Alexander Johan Hjalmar Skarsgård; best known for his roles as vampire Eric Northman on the HBO series True Blood, Meekus in Zoolander and Brad Colbert in the HBO miniseries Generation Kill, had to say about the Nordic paradise. “I’m from Sweden. We don’t wear clothes in Sweden.”
I would like to introduce you to beautiful Sofia Mattsson, an elite young Swedish women’s freestyle wrestler known in some circles as “The Glamour Girl”.
She has also been described as one of the most technically efficient wrestlers in the world. A 2009 World champion and three-time European champion, Sofia is always considered one of the top contenders in her weight class no matter where she competes.
At the European Championships in Sofia, the capitol of Bulgaria, when the organizers of the event decided who should win the title “Miss Europe”, a prize reserved for the prettiest wrestler at the tournament; who better to give it to than the beautiful Swede named Sofia.
Given many of our perceptions of Sweden, it should be well received by our rising star. True?
Sofia refused the award and was quoted as saying, “This is not part of the sport. We are here to excel and win at wrestling. There are some people who compete in that other thing too but we don’t do that here”.
I guess the organizers didn’t get the memo.
Hmm, I also suspect it goes to show that you can’t judge a book by its cover or a country by the people who like to drink and get naked.
Sofia clearly wants women’s wrestling to be taken seriously and so do we, so there will be no further mentioning of sexy blonde female wrestlers or naked Swedes in this article.
The competitive women’s freestyle world is certainly taking Sofia seriously. She continues to acquire one major award after another in stunning fashion.
At the young age of 18, she was already one of the highest-ranking, female wrestlers in Europe. She wrestles in the 48 kilo division for the Gällivare SK Wrestling club, coached by Håkan Johansson and Kalle Taivalsaari. From 2001 to this year, she has won eleven Swedish National Championships (six at cadet level, two at junior level and three at senior level).
In 2007, she competed at the European Championships in Sofia, her first ever international championship at the senior level. Even though she was very young and limited in experience, she won her first match; however, in the following match she was defeated by the Russian wrestler Larisa Oorzhak (who went on to win the gold medal). Afterwards Mattsson defeated her other two opponents and won the bronze medal.
On September of the same year, she competed at her first ever World Championship at senior level in Baku, Azerbaijan, where she placed 8th, assuring herself qualification for the 2008 Summer Olympics.
In April of 2008 year, the young Swedish wrestler won a silver medal at her second ever European Championship at senior level.
On September 2009, Mattsson won the Senior World Championship in 51 kg.
Here are her National results
- 2008 – 1st at the Swedish National Championship
- 2007 – 1st at the Junior Swedish National Championship
- 2007 – 1st at the Swedish National Championship
- 2006 – 1st at the Swedish National Championship
- 2006 – 1st at the Junior Swedish National Championship
- 2006 – 1st at the Cadet Swedish National Championship
- 2005 – 1st at the Cadet Swedish National Championship
- 2004 – 1st at the Cadet Swedish National Championship
- 2003 – 1st at the Cadet Swedish National Championship
- 2002 – 1st at the Cadet Swedish National Championship
- 2001 – 1st at the Cadet Swedish National Championship
On July 3rd, 2014, the sports site genderequalityinsport.org says something similar but more succinct. “Swedish Sofia Mattsson is the champion of 51 kg in the 2009 World Championships, bronze medalist of 59 kg in the 2010, and silver medalist of the 2011 and 2013 World Championships. Sofia stood on the first place of European Championships for three times. She will be competing in 55 kg in Tashkent, a weight with a tough rival, Saori Yushida.”
Let’s please travel to the village that help shaped this stellar super star who has achieved much, but clearly has not yet peaked. We’ll start broad in scope and then narrow down.
According to the site www.my-wrestling-guide.com, Sweden has a long tradition in wrestling, and in the first part of the 20th century Sweden was a top nation in wrestling. In Scandinavia, the Greco/Roman style is more popular than freestyle.
In the sport of female wrestling, Sweden is one of the top ranking countries in the world. The Klippan Cup is globally recognized as one of the most popular women’s tournaments.
The friendly site www.swedishlapland.com beckons us with open arms. “Welcome to Gellivare, a small mining town in the north of Sweden. This region is better known as Lapland, and apart from the mining industry tourism is the main business here. Gellivare offers amazing outdoor possibilities unlike anything else in the world.”
Now the great information source Wikipedia adds to its lore. “Gällivare is a locality and the seat of Gällivare Municipality in Norrbotten County, province of Lapland, Sweden with 8,449 inhabitants in 2010.
Gällivare is situated at the northern end of the Inlandsbanan railway line, just about 100 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle. Gällivare is located in a major iron ore mining region. Adjacent to Gällivare (about five kilometres) is Malmberget, known as a site for iron ore extraction from deep mines by LKAB.”
Here is another reason to visit Sofia’s village. Brimming with pride the travel site www.gellivarelapland.se/en/ shares, “No matter if you are looking for adventures or just want to find peace and quiet, you will find what you are looking for in Gällivare. The winter is long and delightful, filled with sunny days with glittering snow and nights when the northern lights play in the sky.”
The fun site www.gellivarelapland.se/en/ adds, “Swedish Lapland in the far northwest corner of Sweden is a vast area of Arctic plains, forests, mountains, glaciers, lakes and rivers. It is remote, it is wild and it is adored by outdoors enthusiasts and adventure seekers for precisely those two reasons.
The Northern Lights blaze across the Arctic skies in Sweden when charged particles discharged by the sun reach earth’s atmosphere on solar winds and then collide with gaseous particles. The different gases produce different colors, usually pale light greens and pinks.”
Wow! Let’s view a photo of it.
If you would like to visit this phenomenon, the site provides further suggestions. “For the very best chance of seeing the Northern Lights you should make the trip to the Aurora Sky Station in Abisko National Park. It is not guaranteed that you will see them though, this is nature we are talking about and it is unpredictable.
A chairlift takes you up to the observation tower, as well as the station’s Northern Lights exhibition, café and souvenir shop. Do dress properly for your visit, and we don’t mean a tuxedo or cocktail dress. It is fearsome cold and you should attire accordingly.”
Great. This is one of the reasons why we love the global sport of competitive female wrestling. Following these great athletes takes us to all parts of the earth and absolutely adds to our awareness and knowledge of our neighbors that we share this beautiful earth with.
As you can see there are many lights that shine bright in Sweden. None shine brighter than Sofia Mattsson. We have just scratched the surface of her young and brilliant career. If you love to keep tabs on the up and coming super stars in female wrestling, Sofia should now be on your radar.
With a serious mind set, great coaching support and the backing of one the world’s most forward thinking countries; Sofia is a bright star destined to shine much brighter.
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Sources: brainyquote.com, Wikipedia, genderequalityinsport.org, www.my-wrestling-guide.com, www.gellivarelapland.se/en/, www.visitsweden.com, fciwomenswrestling.com, fciwomenswrestling2.com, FCI Elite Competitor, femcompetitor.com, photos thank you Wikimedia Commons.