On October 18th I reached the biggest victory in my rowing career. With all the struggles with my heart it feels that I´ve rowed in head wind for a long time. But it has also made me stronger. There are so many that I want to say thanks to. People which has been very important to me, and which have helped me to achieve this goal and given me a memory that I will never forget. Below I have chosen a few that I want to say a special thanks to:
My coach when I was young. Not only did you introduce me to this sport (for real) which has given me so many great experiences and memories over the years. You made me believe I could do anything even when it seemed impossible or out of reach. When I was 17, during one of many freezing sessions in Falkenberg, where you as always were in the motorboat beside us pushing us on. I promised myself that if I ever would win a World Championship I would give my medal to you. Last month I got to keep that promise. Thank you for everything, Spik!
My child hood friend and my brother from another mother. I followed in your foot steps. First in swimming and then in rowing, always trying my very best to be as good as you.
To Maria Brandin
For pushing me harder and further than I could ever imagine possible. Without your mindset I would never have the strength to come back.
To Nils-Peter Aulisio
For all the countless sessions we had on the rowing machine. For your inspiring “no-pain, no-gain”, “quitting-is-not-an-option” attitude towards training and racing. You are my greatest sparring partner and a great friend.
To Andreas Stensson
So many training session and adventures through the years. Apart of being my best friend you´ve been a true inspiration. “Nothing is impossible” in your eyes. Through the tough years with my heart problems you pushed me on. Stay awesome!
To Maria Pelvén
My great training partner for many years. Most talented rower I´ve stumbled across.
To Olle Andersson
For selflessly driving up to Helsingborg just to train against me on Oct 2nd, 2014 to make to push me during a tough session when I needed it the most (My first hard interval session after getting zapped at the hospital with defibrillator just the day before). The most important training session I´ve done in my life, and a big part of me winning the World Championship, 16 days later.
To Daniel Böcker
For all the training sessions and adventures through the years. Shake and Bake, buddy!
For believing in me when it felt like no one else did!
To Pontus Gustavsson
For being a true friend and training partner for so many years. An honor and a privilege to train with you
To Dennis Gustavsson
For being a great friend and training partner for many years. An honor and a privilege to train with you
To Amanda Tholin
For reminding my what coastal rowing is all about. Great fun challenging the waves. You´re the coolest rower I know. Stay awesome!
To Henrik Winnberg
I don't think I ever been so happy to see a familiar face when I saw you at "Gerdahallen" in Lund. Instead of training all alone for a year, I got superb sparring when I could to train with you and Pontus Ek. Great fun during the years you lived in Helsingborg as well :-)
To Mikael Werner
When rowers are asked who their role model was when they started rowing, they usually say Olaf Tufte, Ondrey Synek or Hamish Bond because they are such great rowers. I say, Mikael Werner, Vänersborg. Great rower on water, but most important a great person off water!
To Jakob Knejp
My second role model and also the funniest person I know. Thanks for inspiring me to try to be a greater person!
To my club
and to everyone associated with it. Could not be more proud to represent Helsingborgs Roddklubb
You are my greatest supporter and role model.
When you died last year I wore a bright pink arm band (your favorite color being pink) in your memory since I desperately wanted you to be with me at the World Championship in our home town of Helsingborg. With the arm band I took a World Championship bronze medal. At the flower ceremony I received a flower which amazingly also was in bright pink. I raised it towards the sky to you. Later after my first win in Monte Carlo I took the armband off.
After getting my heart problems back during the Spanish Championships three weeks ago, having to go to hospital to get a defibrillator chock I thought the World Championships in Greece two weeks later were out of reach. But when I got an ok to train from the doctor (with the obvious risk of the symptoms coming back) I started analyzing and preparing with the same determination that you showed me countless times when I was growing up. "This will work because I'm going to make it work"
When I received my boat control wrist band for the A-final of the championship I noticed that it was not in the usual green color. It was in bright pink. I thought of you and thought it would be nice to have you with me again for one last race, before setting my total focus back to the race.
As I crossed the finish line finish, becoming World Champion, I raised me arms towards the sky to you.
I now realize that you will always be with me
When mom died last year it destroyed me. I had a hard time focusing and I was plagued by guilt. In your own grief you found the power to push, support and convince me to keep on training, not for mom or you but for myself to which I will always be grateful.
As the doping control wanted to take me away to do their mandatory tests after the final race last Saturday, I said: "Hold on, I got to call my dad!". When I reached you I tried to play it cool... asking you about the weather....if you were to play golf later that day...before you burst out: "Jesus son, how did the World Championship go?"
I replied: "Nah...I won...”
When I heard you scream of joy and how happy it made you, I got so overwhelmed I could barely say anything else during the call.
Dad, thank you. I will always be proud to carry your last name.