Olympic Champion and world record holder Sarah Sjostrom is far from done with her career. According to an interview she did with SwimmingWorld Magazine, she plans on going for the 2028 Olympic Games set to occur in Los Angeles, California.
“Definitely. (It’s) very unlikely I am not doing it.” Sjostrom said of LA. “Paris will be the first one and I try to always take one year at a time – that is the main thing. Maybe I’ll find out in two years (and) I’m like ‘ah, no, I’m done’ but I don’t think so…I think I am going to continue for much longer.”
If she competes, LA 2028 will mark Sjostrom’s 20th straight year competing on the international stage. In addition, she will also be 36 years old and one of the oldest swimmers in her competition field.
Sjostrom made her first Olympic appearance at the Beijing 2008 games when she was only 15 years old. She also swam at the 2012, 2016, and 2020 Olympic games, where she earned a combined one gold, one silver, and one bronze medal. If she swims at both the Paris 2024 and LA 2028 games, she will have competed at six different Olympics, which is a feat that has only been completed by four other swimmers: Sweden’s Therese Alshammar and Lars Forlander, Turkey’s Oussama Mellouli, and Turkey’s Derya Buyukuncu.
Even if Sjostrom were to retire now, her career would have exhibited incredible longevity. She won her first World Championship gold in 2009 when she was 16, and now, 13 years later, she just picked up two more golds at the 2022 World Championships at the age of 29. A year ago, Sjostrom broke her elbow a few months prior to the Tokyo Olympics, and she still managed to win 50 free silver at that meet in a display of incredible resilience.
Sjostrom is currently the world record holder in the long course 50/100 free and 50/100 fly, as well as the short course 4×50 medley relay. Her 19 individual World Championship medals, three of which she earned this year, is more than any other female swimmer in history and only one medal shy of Michael Phelps‘ record total of 20 individual medals. In addition, her total of 28 medals from the European Championships is the most out of any swimmer in the competition’s history.