Swedish Language Blog

Swedish sport morals Posted by on Aug 24, 2013 in Culture

Sweden, Denmark or Norway, they are all a part of Scandinavia, sort of the same thing but with different flags. Of course it is hard to know all the differences between countries, especially if you live geographically far away from the countries in question. Many Swedes probably also think along the same line however, not quite sure what the cultural differences between their own country and their neighboring ones are.

I wanted to mention the differences in culture between countries when it comes to sports. Is it ok to drink before or during a competition? And what do people think of doping and drug abuse etc.

Even though Sweden and Denmark are 30 min away by train they have extremely different sport cultures.

The Swedish policy about drinking and drugs is straight and clean, meaning that they just don’t mix. It is frowned upon by many if you smoke and compete since it has a negative effect on your performance. Unlike in Denmark where you can find beer machines outside the training facilities you would never see that in Sweden.

When you reach higher levels of sport in Sweden there are doping checks to make sure people really are clean. It is also not uncommon for volunteers from the national anti-doping association to come to youth sports camps and talk about the dangers of doping, but also what rights you have when being asked to give a urine sample for example.

Some of these examples might also be the reason many Swedes who compete abroad for the first couple of times get so surprised at seeing a coach and athlete stand outside the training hall discussing tactics while smoking.

Many athletes completely don’t drink, at all, on the moral grounds that it isn’t good for their bodies.

Every sport in Sweden has it’s own association, and it has become very common for each association along with the clubs that belong to the association to create a document in which guidelines for what is sportsmanly conduct and how parents and athletes should behave towards and in front of each other. Since every person who competes for Sweden is representing Sweden as well, it is also important to remember to not only for your own sake behave well.

The Swedish sports confederation clearly states in amongst other places on their homepage that they do not under any circumstances find doping acceptable. The four main reasons being following:

– It is cheating to take part in any form of doping. It is in the nature of sport to be honest and play fair and would therefore be completely pointless if everybody didn’t follow the same rules.

– Doping is considered to be dangerous and can involve great health risks for the individual in question.

– It ruins the credibility and reputation of the sports movement and therefore has a destructive effect on especially youth sport.

– Doping is illegal in Sweden and handling or taking any illegal substances can lead up to four years prison.

The Swedish sport confederation also has as a policy that it wants to work towards decreasing the alcohol and tobacco consumption among youths.

These morals or cultural aspects of sport are taught to Swedish athletes from a very young age, which might be one of the reasons they are so deeply ingrained in the spirit of Swedish sport.


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