2Its just not Sports its their Passion Sport is considered a national pastime in Sweden, and about half of the population actively takes part in sports activities. The most important all-embracing organisations for sports in Sweden are the Swedish Sports Confederation, and the Swedish Olympic Committee. In total over 2 million people (about 20% of the total population) are members of a sports club.The sports with most participants are handball, football, golf, gymnastics and athletics, while the sports with the largest number of television spectators are football, ice hockey, handball, bandy, golf, motor sport (especially speedway) and athletics. Football is the main sport. Winter sports are also popular, both in the number of participants and in spectators, while floorball gained large popularity in the 1990s amongst participants, spectators really grew in the last 5 years to outnumber other team sports amongst the spectators. Other popular sports include bandy, basketball, orienteering, tennis and table tennis. Except for basketball, the American sports have not gained much popularity, although American football and baseball are practised.
3SWEDISH SPORTS MOVEMENT The Swedish sport movement can be traced back to the early 19th century and the Pehr Ling gymnastics, a recreational movement that would keep its position as the largest fitness activity in Sweden many years into the 20th century. It was also the main sport activity practiced in schools through half that century. The sport movement took its first steps in the 1880s and 90s, when for example football, bandy and athletics took its first steps in Sweden towards becoming modern sports.The first public orienteering competition in Sweden was held in 1901 (see history of orienteering). Today, orienteering is one of the most popular sports in Sweden, attracting more than 10
4THE FOOTBALL NATIONThe Swedish national football team has seen some success at the World Cup, finishing second when they hosted the tournament in 1958, and third twice, in 1950 and Their best showing in the European Football Championship came as Sweden hosted 1992 European Football Championship. They reached the semi-finals. Something Swedes are proud of is that England has not defeated Sweden since Revered in Italy and England is Sven-Göran Eriksson, the Swede who led the English national team until his resignation after the 2006 FIFA World Cup. They also hosted the UEFA U-21 European Championships this summer, losing out in the semi-finals on penalties against England. Only one Swedish team has ever won the UEFA Cup — IFK Göteborg — who won in 1982 and 1987.
5THE ICE HOCKEY WINNERSThe men's national hockey team has won the World Championships eight times, and Olympic gold medals in 1994 and In 2011 they won silver, after losing to Finland with goals 6-1. The women's national hockey team won bronze medals in the 2002 Winter Olympics and the 2005 Women's World Ice Hockey Championships, and a silver medal in the 2006 Winter Olympics. Famous Swedish NHL hockey players include Peter Forsberg, Mats Sundin, Nicklas Lidström, Markus Näslund, Daniel Alfredsson, Henrik Sedin, Daniel Sedin, Börje Salming, Henrik Zetterberg, Nicklas Bäckström, Henrik Lundqvist, Johan Franzen, Niklas Kronwall, Patrik Berglund, Thomas Steen, Bengt-Åke Gustafsson, and Pelle Lindbergh.
6RUGBY UNION IN SWEDENSwedish football" in the nineteenth century was a variant of association football with some rugby elements. By 1900, Swedish football clubs were using the Football Association's rules with no rugby influence.The pure form of rugby was introduced between the wars. The visiting cruisers of the British Royal Navy, HMS Dorsetshire and HMS Norfolk played the first recorded match in Stockholm] The sport became well established in this period thanks also to the efforts of Yves Gylden, who had learnt the game in France, and founded the first three Swedish clubs in Stockholm.As with many other countries in Europe, the Second World War nearly finished off the game. Sweden was neutral in this conflict, meaning that the game did not suffer the war casualties that it did in other countries. By 1960, the number of active clubs had declined to fewer than ten. This was remedied in the 60s and 70s by an intensive development programme, which helped to bring that figure up to at least 55 clubs in the mid 90s.A persistent problem for Swedish rugby has been the climate, which means that many pitches may be under snow for large parts of the year. For this reason rugby is a summer sport in Sweden, the season running from late April to the middle of October.
7Spectator sportsThe greatest spectator sports in Sweden are football (Allsvenskan) and ice hockey (Elitserien). Handball and floorball come close, together with regional specialties such as bandy and speedway. There are a dozen indoor arenas for bandy. That's more than the other countries combined.
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