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SwedenSweden, SWE


Further Personal Information

Date of birth
04 October 1986
192 cm
Copenhagen, DEN
Athlete, Coach, Consultant
English, Swedish

Sport Specific Information

When and where did you begin this sport?
He began swimming at age four.
Why this sport?
His parents took him to a local swimming pool as a child to learn to swim. At age 13 he realised he wanted to pursue swimming seriously. "I was working on a number of sports when I was young but because of the swimming club I was active in, swimming stuck for me."
Club / Team
SK Neptun: Sweden
Name of coach
Ulrika Sandmark [national]; Johan Wallberg [club], SWE

General Interest

Most influential person in career
His grandmother. (, 08 Aug 2016)
Hero / Idol
US boxer Muhammad Ali, US basketball player Michael Jordan. (, 01 Jan 2016;, 07 Feb 2008)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Clear eyes, full heart, can't lose." (, 07 Feb 2008)
Awards and honours
He was named the 2014 Male Swimmer of the Year in Sweden. (, 05 Feb 2015)
Famous relatives
His older brother Samba has represented Sweden at junior level, and competed at the 2003 European Junior Championships in Glasgow, Scotland. (, 14 Aug 2012; SportsDeskOnline, 11 Mar 2020)
To compete at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. (, 22 Jul 2019)
Other information
In 2017 he relocated to Copenhagen, Denmark, following a disappointing performance at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. "I made a decision. Just leaving what is for me the world's best city, Stockholm, and moving down to Copenhagen was a big decision. I had a serious chat with the coach there and he said that if you go with full heart you can definitely get back to where you were. I needed someone who believed in me, who really invested in me. That is what has changed. I have come back to the 'Warrior-Simon'. When I moved, I received a new motivation, I was excited when I came to workouts and found new opportunities to develop my technique. Now I love swimming again." (, 31 Jul 2018)

In early-2019 he was diagnosed with ADHD [attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder]. He received the diagnosis after his swimming team doctor Rene Tour suggested he seek medical advice. "I am grateful that he grabbed me and said it, I had never gone and looked it up myself. It has helped me in my working life, there is better structure and organisation on me now. Now that I have been diagnosed I have started to organise myself and write down what I should do during the day and get it done. Then I'm done. Instead of just taking it at random." (, 22 Jul 2019)

He initially planned to retire following the 2017 World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, but after he failed to qualify for the event he decided to continue his career. In July 2019 he announced that the 2019 World Championships in Gwangju, Republic of Korea, would be his last appearance at the event. Four months later he announced his return to the sport with a view to competing at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. "I'm in my bonus years as a swimmer [speaking in 2019]. I know this is my absolute last world championships [2019]. I made a decision. I will be going for the Tokyo Olympics." (, 09 Nov 2019;, 23 Jul 2019;, 22 Jul 2019)