arena is pleased to announce the signing of Swedish World short course champion, Louise Hansson, for the current four-year cycle through the Paris Olympics in 2024. The versatile 25-year-old, who is a fixture in Sweden’s powerful women’s relay teams, recently won her first major individual gold medal at Abu Dhabi’s World Short Course Championships, breaking the national record twice on her way to the 100m backstroke title.
“I’m very honored and excited to be a part of the arena family,” said Louise. “I have always loved racing in their suits and can’t wait for the coming years together.”
With a swimming coach father, Louise and her two siblings were introduced to the pool early, starting out in 2001 when she was five, with the hope that they would become proficient in all four strokes before they were allowed to quit. As a result, all three are still swimmers, with Louise competing at the highest level with equal success in freestyle, butterfly and backstroke. Younger sister Sophie – who like Louise represents Sweden and has been to two Olympic Games – is a specialist in breaststroke, which means they swim together in the relays and do not have to compete with one another.
Louise first represented the Swedish national youth team when she was 14, graduating to the senior team the following year, and she won her first medal at the 2012 European Championships in Debrecen as part of the Swedish 4x100m freestyle relay team which finished second. Since then she has become a regular in Sweden’s powerful women’s relays, swimming any of her three strokes as the need arises. Since Debrecen she has won 14 relay medals for with her countrywomen, including a 4-x100m freestyle gold at Berlin’s European Championships in 2014, and a 4x100m medley silver at Kazan’s World Championships in 2015 with a new European record (3:55.24).
Following the 2016 Olympics in Rio – where she swam the 4x100m and 4x200m freestyle relay finals as the Swedes finished fifth in both – she moved to the University of Southern California to study and swim with the USC Trojans. Over the course of four years, she won national titles in the 100yd fly twice and 200yd fly once, was named the 2020 Pac-12 Women's Swimmer of the Year, and received the University of Southern California's 2020 Pac-12 Tom Hansen Medal for the greatest combination of scholarship, athletics and leadership. Having completed her business administration degree in 2020, she moved to Loughborough University in England to study a master’s in international business and swim for the university’s performance squad.
After the 2020 hiatus in competition due to the pandemic, 2021 proved to be very busy. In May, Louise won her first major individual medal at the postponed 2020 European Championships with the 100m butterfly bronze, and in Tokyo at the postponed 2020 Olympic Games she made the finals but not the podium in the 100m butterfly and 4x100m freestyle and medley relays. In October at the Berlin leg of the FINA World Cup series, she broke both the Swedish 50m and 100m backstroke records, and beat an extremely strong field to win the latter event. It was a sign of things to come, and at the year-end’s World SC Championships in Abu Dhabi, she won her first world title in the 100m backstroke, breaking the national record once again, and did the same with the Swedish 50m backstroke record as her 4x50m medley relay team won gold, matching the world record in a time of 1:42.38. A new European record followed in the 4x100m medley relay’s triumph with a time of 3:46.20, as Louise swam butterfly in the heats and backstroke in the final, which also featured her sister Sophie and Sarah Sjöström. She also added the 100m butterfly silver and 50m backstroke bronze, in which she lowered her own Swedish record once again. All told Louise won an incredible 7 medals in a dream meet for her, a fitting prelude to joining the arena Elite Team.
Louise Hansson Bio & Best Results
Born: 24 November, 1996 in Helsingborg, Sweden
Coach: Sverker Maltesjö / Ian Hulme
Club: Helsingborg SS / Loughborough University
2021 15th FINA World SC Championships, Abu Dhabi
· Gold: 100m backstroke, 4x50m & 4x100m medley
· Silver: 100m butterfly, 4x50m freestyle
· Bronze: 50m backstroke, 4x100m freestyle
LEN European LC Swimming Championships, Budapest
· Bronze: 100m butterfly
2017 LEN European SC Swimming Championships, Copenhagen
· Silver: 4x50m freestyle
2016 LEN European LC Swimming Championships, London
· Bronze: 4x100m freestyle
2015 16th FINA World Aquatics Championships, Kazan
· Silver: 4x100m medley
LEN European SC Swimming Championships, Netanya
· Silver: 4x50m medley
· Bronze: 200m medley
2014 LEN European LC Swimming Championships, Berlin
· Gold: 4x100m freestyle
· Silver: 4x200m freestyle, 4x100m medley
2013 LEN European SC Swimming Championships, Herning
2012 LEN European LC Swimming Championships, Debrecen
· Silver: 4x100m freestyle
Photo credit: Courtesy by arena