My experiences here in the US when it comes to sports have been very different. In Sweden, the biggest sports are soccer, ice hockey and betting on horses, while here it seems like football and basketball take the lead. When I first arrived here in Salem, I was really excited to see what the sports that Sweden lacks are like here.
The first thing I watched was American football (which is what we call it so that it will not be confused with the word we use for soccer, “Fotboll”). I must admit that I had no idea what was going on. The only things I know about football are what I’ve learned from watching American movies. But it was kind of cool and reminded me of the toughness of ice hockey.
The second sport I saw here was basketball. It isn’t that big in Sweden but I think that the rule system is the same. I really got a first-hand look at basketball here at Willamette, mostly because I became a cheerleader last semester. Cheerleading is also a sport that doesn’t really exist in Sweden. We usually just have dancers instead.
So we might not have sports like football, lacrosse, rugby or baseball but we do have sports that are similar to these. For instance, our baseball is called ”Brännboll” and the sport is usually not played professionally. Something we do a lot though is play golf, tennis, ski, snowboard and go horseback-riding. When you do watch Swedish teams compete, be sure to look for the three crowns which are our country’s symbol as well as our countries colors, of course.
Unlike Willamette, where every other person is on a team, sports do not exist at most universities in Sweden sports. The only thing that universities usually have is a stable. Most people in Sweden have horses and it’s hard to leave them at home when you go to college.
In Europe, one of the biggest events is FIFA World Cup, which happens every fourth year. This year it will be held in South Africa. Swedes literally go mad during this time and pay obscene amounts of money to watch the games.