Meet Frida Karlsson: she’s the 19-year-old Swede, currently setting the international ski scene on fire. Earlier this week, she secured a silver medal at the 2019 World Championships in Seefeld, Austria – her first selection for the senior national team after picking up three medals in the J-World Cup.
And, in an interview before the World Championships, Karlsson admitted that she is already dreaming of one day competing in a Winter Olympics on home soil.
“It would be so awesome,” she says, when asked about the prospect of Stockholm Åre 2026. “I really hope it happens. Many athletes say that the age of 25-27 is when you’re at the peak of your career – so an Olympics in 2026 would be perfect for me.”
Having watched the Pyeongchang Winter Games from home in Sweden, Karlsson believes that a Swedish-held event would cause a long-lasting positive impact in her home country.
“Of course, it would be really great. [Pyeongchang] was a fantastic Olympic Games for the Swedes, and imagine if you could have similar success during a Games at home. Now that would be a real party!”
Frida’s success in Austria will have taken some ski fans by surprise – but anyone who has tracked her progress over the last year would have expected that she would soon make a real impact on the international stage.
In January, she took home two golds (15km classic mass start and 5km freestyle) and a bronze (4×3, 3km relay) from a memorable Junior World Championships in Lahti, Finland – and this latest success is just the next evolution in what promises to be an exciting and illustrious career at the top.
“It’s been very fun this season, and I feel like I’ve developed a lot since last year,” admits Karlsson. “I’ve worked really hard on all the small things and I think that I’ve improved in all areas.”
Reacting to being selected for the Ski World Cup, Karlsson revealed her excitement. “It feels like a great opportunity,” she said before the tournament. “I can get new experience for the future and I hope that I can do my best races of my career. I’m charged up and ready to go, it’ll be fun!”
Having never competed at such a level, Karlsson went into the event in Seefeld with little in the way of expectations. “It’s difficult to know how to think, since I have never been in these contexts before,” she said. “Instead, I get to be confident in myself and focus on what I can influence.”
She smiles: “Just try to ski as fast as possible from point A to B.” Well, it’s a strategy that seems to be working pretty well so far – keep it up, Frida!