Number of active players: 659
Notable beach tournaments: Bull’s Fat Hat
Past participation in beach championships: WCBU2004
Division participation at ECBU 2013: Mixed
Ultimate and Sweden have a long and storied history. Frisbee sport was introduced in Sweden in the 1970s, and the Swedish Frisbee Association was formed in 1974. Sweden hosted the first official world championship in Ultimate, in 1983, and Swedish national ultimate has a proud history with medals in both the open and women’s divisions, and for seniors as well as juniors.
Despite struggling with a decreasing number of active players over the last 20 years, the Open team has managed to remain highly competitive, consistently placing high in world championship events. The women’s division has dropped more or less steadily from winning the gold medal in 1996 to not participating in the latest European and world championships at all.
In the mixed division, Sweden has participated internationally mainly in club events, with a gold medal from the European Championships in Prague 2001 and a 9th place at Worlds in Hawaii 2002 as the highest placements. The climate and natural surroundings in Sweden are not ideal for beach ultimate, but there are annual recurring events, mainly in the form of hat tournaments, and Swedish teams and players are loyal visitors at Paganello. In 2012, E6, the team that is providing most of the female players for the Swedish Mixed beach squad, brought home a bronze medal.
The Mixed national team for ECBU 2013 was formed in February-March and has met for two weekends – one open tryout on artificial grass, and one on the beach with the final team. But the first Swedish national teams to ever hit the beach houses tons of experience, and know each other well from national and club teams. Carolina Hargeby, Martin Filipovski Hargeby and Harriet Andersson have been playing international championships since the 90s. Opponents should be looking out for a comeback from Johanna Vonasek, who made her debut in Japan 1992 and made her latest appearance as one of the key players in the gold medal-winning team at Worlds 1996.
Stina Thim, a Toronto-resident since November and part of this year’s Toronto Capitals women’s team and Union mixed team, is returning to Europe for the beach. The only debutants, Sarah Eklund and Oda Klarén, have extensive experience from youth championships, and their speed and fierce defense will surely bring down plenty of competitors. On the male side, Joel Höglund, Patrik Sundqvist, Anders Dahlberg, and Johan Leandersson were on the Swedish team that knocked team Japan out of Worlds last year and missed the final by a single point.