Therese Alshammar (26 August, 1977) is a Swedish freestyle and butterfly swimmer, and is one of the world’s top female sprinters, consistently demonstrating her impressive talent and excellent technique throughout her career.

She first announced her arrival on the international scene as a 17-year-old at the 1994 World Championships in Rome, where she made the semifinals in 100m backstroke. A bronze medal in 50m freestyle at the 1997 European Championships (Seville) and a silver in 50m freestyle at the 1999 European Championships (Istanbul) preceded an outstanding performance at the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000, where she won two individual silver medals (50 and 100m freestyle) and a bronze with the Swedish relay team.

After her Olympic breakthrough, Therese confirmed her talent in the short course, both in freestyle and butterfly, winning numerous medals over the course of the World and European Championships between 2000 and 2009. Among them were gold and silver medals for 50m butterfly and 50m freestyle respectively at the Melbourne 2007 World Championships, and a 50m butterfly silver at the 2009 World Championships in Rome, where she also swam a world record in the semi-final (25.07). At each of the World SC Championships in 2000 and 2002, she won a phenomenal four gold medals – 50m and 100m freestyle, 4x100m freestyle and medley relays – and added a 50m butterfly gold in the 2006 Shanghai World SC Championships.

In 2010 Therese won the 50m butterfly and freestyle titles at the European Championships in Budapest, along with silver in 4x100m medley relay, and bronze in 100m butterfly and 4x100m freestyle relay. At the World SC Championship title in Dubai, she won a 50m fly gold and a 100m fly silver.

Alshammar became the oldest women to win a world championship title when she took the 50m freestyle gold medal at the 2011 World Championships in Shanghai, where she also won the 50m butterfly silver medal. With high hopes for her fifth Olympics in London 2012, Therese unfortunately succumbed to a neck injury before the Games, forcing her to withdraw from the 100m freestyle and the 4x100m freestyle relay. She soldiered on admirably in the 50m freestyle, showing tremendous fortitude to make the final, finishing sixth.

One series of events that has featured regularly in Alshammar’s annual calendar is the FINA/Arena World Cup. Varying between five and eight meets spread across multiple continents over five-eight weeks, Therese has won an extraordinary four titles (2005-6, 2007, 2010, 2011) and finished second in the other three.

Over a career that has spanned some 15 years at the highest level, Therese has set 11 individual world records, two of which still stand – in 2009 she set an incredible five new world marks. She has won 87 individual National titles, three Swedish Athlete of the Year awards (2000, 2010, 2011), and one FINA Swimmer of the Year award (2010), and is unquestionably the most successful athlete in Sweden’s swimming history.


Therese Alshammar is widely regarded as the strongest swimmer in the history of her native Sweden, where she is revered as a celebrity. For a decade she has been the dominant female swimmer in 50m freestyle and butterfly, an extraordinary phenomenon of longevity whose only unfulfilled honour is an Olympic gold, on which she reflects: "If Dara Torres could do it at 40, why shouldn’t I at 33?"

After two years in the United States, she now trains in Stockholm with Täby Sim and Sydney, where she takes refuge from the cold Scandinavian winter and the pressures of being famous in her homeland.

Always in pursuit of new goals and driven by a desire to continually improve, she takes her inspiration from the great Alexander Popov.

Passionate about fashion and design – which she studied for two years at the University of Nebraska – thanks to her statuesque figure, she has appeared on the catwalk several times, although she says she’d rather create her own collection than model those of others.

She has designed water bottles for the Scandic hotel chain and cabinets for a well-known Scandinavian company; is passionate about music and reading; and loves cooking (especially Italian and Oriental), shopping, long walks, and doing new age exercises to recharge after a hard session in the pool.

She is the daughter of entrepreneur Krister and former Olympic swimmer Britt-Marie Smedh (seventh in the 100m backstroke at the 1972 Munich Olympics).

A highly charismatic figure, in 1998 she earned the title of Sweden’s sexiest woman by Cafè Magazine. Always at the center of the social scene, she has repeatedly attracted attention for her original style – even at the most formal of occasions – and has become one of the most popular women in Sweden. She is a genuine star at home, where she has earned the title “Diva”, a nickname that she carries almost as a warning, tattooed in clear view on her back.

On the Bel Paese, Therese naturally loves its fashion and cooking. The pool in Rome is one of her favorites to race in, and she confesses that she could not make the most of the day's workouts without a double espresso – Italian, of course.

Name /Lastname: Therese Alshammar

Country: Sweden
Place/date of Birth: August 26 1977, Solna

Age: 36
Heigh: 180cm
Weight: 64kg
Team /Club: Täby Sim
Discipline: Butterfly, Freestyle
Coach: Johan Wallberg
Place of training: Sydney, Australia / Stoccolma, Svezia
Hobbies: Cooking, eating, walking, surfing, talking, shopping, watching


World Championships - Shanghai
Gold 50m Freestyle
Silver 50m Butterfly

World Championships (SC) - Dubai
Gold 50m Butterfly
Silver 100m Butterfly

European Championships - Budapest
Gold 50m free,
Gold 50m Butterfly ,
Silver 4x100m medley ,
Bronze 100m fly
Bronze 4x100m Freestyle

2009 World Championships – Rome
Silver 50m freestyle

2008 European Championship – Eindhoven
Bronze 50m Freestyle

2007 World Championships – Melbourne
Gold 50m Butterfly
Silver 50 m Freestyle

2006 European Championships – Budapest
Gold 50m Butterfly
Silver 50m Freestyle

2006 World Championships - Shanghai (SC)
Gold 50m Butterfly
Bronze 4x100m Freestyle

2005 World Championships – Montreal
Bronze 50m Butterfly

2004 World Championships - Indianapolis (SC)
Silver 4x100m Freestyle
Bronze 50m Freestyle

2004 European Championships – Madrid
Gold 50m Freestyle

2002 World Championships - Moscow (SC)
Gold 50m Freestyle
Gold 100m Freestyle
Gold 4x100m Freestyle
Gold 4x100m Medley

2002 European Championships – Berlin
Gold 50m Freestyle
Silver 4x100m freestyle
Silver 4x100m Medley

2001 World Championships – Fukuoka
Silver 50m Butterfly
Silver 50 m freestyle

2000 World Championships – Athens (SC)
Gold 50m freestyle
Gold 100m Freestyle
Gold 4x100m Freestyle
Gold 4x100m Medley

2000 – European Championships – Helsinki
Gold 50m freestyle
Gold 100m Freestyle
Gold 4x100m Freestyle
Gold 4x100m Medley

2000- Olympic Games - Sydney
Silver 50m freestyle
Silver 100m freestyle
Bronze 4x100m freestyle