Swedish Language Blog

Olympic Sports in Swedish Posted by on Jul 20, 2016 in Vocabulary

Stockholms Stadion, the home of the 1912 Summer Olympics. Photo credit: Marcus Cederström

Stockholms Stadion, the home of the 1912 Summer Olympics. Photo credit: Marcus Cederström

In just about two weeks, the 2016 Summer Olympics (Olympiska spelen or, in this case Olympiska sommarspelen, or OS for short) will open in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. There will be over 10,000 athletes competing from around 200 countries. But there are only about 300 medals to go around. Sweden will be sending nearly 150 athletes to compete in an attempt to bring home some of those 300 medals. Back in 2012, the Swedish Olympians won eight medals (one gold medal, four silver medals, and three bronze medals).

With so many different events, it can be difficult to keep track of what’s going on. Luckily, we’ve put together an easy vocabulary sheet with the names of the basic sports in both Swedish and English. You’ll notice that this vocab sheet only lists the names of the general sports. That’s because this list has 41 new Olympic-related words for your vocabulary.

Good luck:

Svenska Engelska
Artistisk gymnastik Gymnastics Artistic
Badminton Badminton
Bågskytte Archery
Bancykling Cycling Track
Basket Basketball
Beachvolleyboll Beach Volleyball
BMX Cycling BMX
Bordtennis Table Tennis
Boxning Boxing
Dressyr Equestrian Dressage
Fäktning Fencing
Fälttävlan (ridsport) Equestrian Eventing
Fotboll Soccer/Football
Friidrott Track and Field
Fristilsbrottning Wrestling Freestyle
Golf Golf
Grekisk-romersk brottning Wrestling Greco-Roman
Handboll Handball
Hoppning Equestrian Jumping
Judo Judo
Kanotslalom Canoe Slalom
Konstsim Synchronized Swimming
Landhockey Field Hockey
Landsvägscykling Cycling Road
Modern femkamp Modern Pentathlon
Mountainbike Cycling Mountain Bike
Rodd Rowing
Rugby Rugby
Rytmisk gymnastik Gymnastics Rhythmic
Segling Sailing
Simhopp Diving
Simning Swimming
Skytte Shooting
Sprint (Kanotsport) Canoe Sprint
Taekwondo Taekwondo
Tennis Tennis
Trampolin (gymnastik) Trampoline
Triathlon Triathlon
Tyngdlyftning Weightlifting
Vattenpolo Water Polo
Volleyboll Volleyball

P.S. For those of you wondering, it’s been a while since Sweden hosted the Olympics. In fact, there have been 22 Summer Olympic Games since 1912 when Sweden last hosted the event in Stockholm. Although, back in 1956 when Melbourne, Australia, was hosting the Games, there was a quarantine on horses so the equestrian events were held in Sweden.

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About the Author: Marcus Cederström

Marcus Cederström has been writing for the Transparent Swedish Blog since 2009. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Scandinavian Studies from the University of Oregon, a Master's Degree in Scandinavian Studies from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and a PhD in Scandinavian Studies and Folklore from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He has taught Swedish for several years and still spells things wrong. So, if you see something, say something.


  1. rusti:

    Står inte OS för Olympiska Spel? Och täcker därför båda sommar-OS och vinter-OS?

    • Marcus Cederström:

      @rusti Good question! OS can be used to describe Olympiska vinterspelen, Olympiska sommarspelen, or just Olympiska spelen. Because I was writing specifically about the Olympics in Rio, I used Olympiska sommarspelen. I’ve updated the post to make that clearer. Thanks!