Swedish Language Blog

Swedes love their winter Olympics Posted by on Feb 21, 2010 in Swedish Language

Swedes love their winter Olympics, called OS in Swedish, which means Olympiska Spelen. It’s no wonder — Sweden is freezing. Especially right now. I was out today for a couple of minutes and still can’t feel my face.

Swedes really do go crazy for their winter Olympics. They love the summer too, but the winter Olympics feels more natural. These people love to skate, ski, curl, play hockey.

The other day at work, I was again reminded that I live in Sweden. I always smile when I get one of these revelations. This time, I was sitting at work, in a huge cafeteria, with 500 or so people, eating lunch. And on a big, movie theatre style screen, we were watching — curling! Yes, that’s right….curling.

I work at a pretty conservative place….you know suits….and serious conversations, and what was on the tip of every one’s tongue, (tunga)? Curling! Maybe that’s an overstatement…but Swedes do love their winter Olympics.

And it shows.

I did some math just now to see how good Swedes are in the winter Olympics. They currently have 6 medals. I thought that was high when I considered the population in Sweden, 9.2 million. So I started doing some research, (Jag började undersöka statistiken). The United States has 23 medals, or 1 medal for every 13 million. So Sweden is pretty good, at 1 medal for every 1.5 million people. Austria however, is better, with 1 medal for every 1.2 million people.

One country though, Norway, is not to be messed with. That nation of tough winter sporty types has 11 medals, or one medal for every 450,000 people.

But the Swedes battle and the Swedish population really gets behind them in a very patriotic (patriotisk) way that you otherwise rarely see in this country.

I have to admit that I’ve watched a bit, and I especially love the Swedish commentators. The other day, they went crazy when Björn Ferry unexpectedly won in some sort of cross-country skiing event. They were screaming — really in no language — and just going crazy (blev galna).

It warms my heart to see Swedes excited, because sometimes I feel like they are too reserved….but they do live in a cold country, so maybe that’s why they are a little colder sometimes.

Tell me: What’s your take on the Olympics where you are versus Sweden, and whether you agree or disagree about my cold assessment.

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  1. Richard Olson:

    That cross country event was Mens 30 K event and it was an amazing race with the Swede’s working together I believe. Olsson was way out front (18 seconds or so) and on the last lap the lead narrowed and Hellner (Sweden) came from nowhere and won gold. I believe he was trying to hold the pack back to preserve Olsson’s lead and work as a team. Olsson got Bronze. Fantastic race.

  2. david:

    I don’t really remember when the commentators went crazy (happened many times with cross country skiing or biathlon) but I remember that Björn Ferry won Gold in biathlon. For me the most amazing sport in winter Olympics and maybe the only thing I watch.
    I’m immigrant from Germany and feel for borth nations. Luckily both have many good athletes in cross country skiing and biathlon. It just looks amazing to skate on ski.
    Coming from a region with almost no snow during winter it is very exciting for me to stand on ski (cross country) for the first time in my life. Watching it on TV motivates me to take my ski and start skating. Especially this winter with so much snow and temperatures that frequently drop down to -25°C here. I have to admit that I love doing sports outside now breathing the ice cold and clean air.