Who will get it?
Tomorrow, I will leave for Stockholm with the 6 o’clock train to sit down with the rest of the jury to decide who will receive one of the finest awards that a Swedish athlete can receive. And for the first time ever, there are two Paralympic candidates out of the ten nominated. I will not debate on who I believe will get it, since I am in the jury, but I am proud of our Paralympians of today that have won a place in history this way.
I myself, was nominated twice. First time, after the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games, and secondly after the 1998 New Zealand World Championships. I never won the award, but to be in the jury together with some of the most respected athletes in Sweden’s history makes me more than proud.
Disabled athletes have a good position in Sweden today. The elite athletes are respected nationwide, and the possibilities to get sponsorship deals are better than ever. To show you how it looks in Sweden today, here is a clip from our National Sports Gala of 2008, when the swimmer Anders Olsson received his award.
The jury consists of:
Lena K Samuelsson, chair, chief editor, SvD.
Ola Billger, secretary, SvD
Agneta Andersson, Olympic Gold 1996
Anders Gärderud, Olympic Gold 1976
Annichen Kringstad, World Champion 1981
Bo Gentzel, former Sport CEO of SVT, Swedish Television
Conny Evensson, World Champion Coach 1990, 1991
David Lega, Triple World Champion 1998
Gunilla Lindberg, vicepresident IOC, secretary general SOC
Magdalena Forsberg, six time World Champion
Sven von Holst, Olympic swimmer 1968, national coach
Stefan Lindeberg, president SOC
Tommy Svensson, Bronze coach in the Soccer World Cup 1994
Ulrika Knape-Lindberg, Olympic Gold 1972