Sarah Sjöström became Sweden’s first female Olympic swimming champion at Rio 2016 in the 100m butterfly.
Emotion overflowed and her brother Linus – then aged nine - noted: “black tears came from your eyes.”
Linus has autism. In late 2016 they stood together as Sarah was honored at the Swedish Sports Gala.
Sarah told the Expressen paper in Sweden: “Yes, it was because I was wearing mascara. [Linus] stood on the stage in a packed Globen and gave a speech for me. It was the best prize I have ever received.”
In summer 2017 Sarah broke four world records in two weeks and with eight world records held in long and short-course events simultaneously, she had more global standards than any other swimmer.
Sarah took up swimming aged 10 and was European 100m butterfly champion within four years.
In February 2021 she broke her elbow in a slip on ice only to return and claim 50m freestyle silver at the Tokyo Olympics.
She said: “This is one of my biggest achievements in my career. I’ve won a lot of medals and broken a lot of world records, but this has been the toughest challenge so far.”
By the close of 2021, she had become a sporting superstar in Sweden with 41 Olympic, world and European titles and holds four world records in the 50m and 100m freestyle and butterfly.
In January 2022, she announced her engagement to Swedish fencer Johan de Jong Skierus.