Sofia Paldanius

Date of Birth 16/03/79
Height 180 cm
Weight 74 kg

Jönköpings kanotklubb


Age begun canoeing?

Favourite Training Venue?
Mullsjö. It’s a place in Sweden where my club has a training camp one week every summer. There are a couple of beautiful lakes that you can paddle in. I also like Vättern where my club is situated, it’s the second largest lake and you can paddle 150 km without turning (I have never tried that ;)). The fact that it is so big makes it very bumpy sometimes and the lake is 100m deep at some spots so it never gets really warm. But some days it can be the most beautiful and best place to paddle in the whole world…!

Preferred Racing Distance?

Favourite Training Session?
A hard aerobic session in good company (when I´m in good shape).

Favourite Training camp Location?
Gold Coast, Australia. Nice and warm!

Why do you enjoy canoeing so much?
I love competing but I think there are more things that connect me to the sport; I like to keep myself in good shape and be outdoors. Kayaking has made me know lots of nice people from different parts of the world and I get to travel a lot. It’s a wonderful lifestyle!

What is the current situation with Canoe Kayak in Sweden?
Right now it feels like some ropes are hanging loose (can you use that task in English? ;)) because we don’t have any head coach for the national team. But we just got a new sport manager at the federation and he seems to be good. Markus and Henrik are very inspiring for all of us and especially the younger kayakers and there are a bunch of kayakers on the way up so the future looks bright. It’s a shame though that we hardly have any canoers in Sweden.

What is the sprinting structure like?
We race 200m at nationals every year and then we also have a cup over 75m with some prize money, fun!

What specific training do you do for 200m?
I don’t train specific for the 200 but some of the training for 500 also benefits my performance at the 200m. For example weight lifting and speed training in the boat 5-20 seconds.

What does your typical day consist of?
Training, eating, sleeping and studying or another social activity.

How do you feel that 200m is developing on the international scene?
I don’t know, haven’t thought about that. I hope it will develop more but I’m not sure if it does…

What current equipment are you using and how does this benefit your

I’m trying around between different paddle models of Turbo, I think Turbo has an extraordinary quality on paddles and it suits me. The boat I use is the Vanquish M/L and I am very happy with it.

Do you have any other interests other than kayak?
Music: indiepop. My friends and family.

What is the selection policy like in Sweden?
I don’t know… It has been different every year. I hope we get to know something soon. Right now we don’t have any selector for the team…

How long have you spent on the team?
I’ve been on the team since my first year as a senior, -98.

What is you favourite event (K1-2-4, 200, 500, 1000)?
K1 500

Do you study and if so what are you studying?
I’m studying to get an exam in media and communication, I have also taken a course in the Nordic languages.

How do you feel about your overall performance this year?
My overall performance was good and bad but the end of the summer and the Olympics was great. I am very happy with my result there.

What do you wish to improve upon for next year?
My paddling and myself as a person – I feel like I get wiser for every year.

What do you feel is the most important part of 200m racing?
To keep up the speed.

Talk us through your races at the Olympics?
What can I say. I don’t remember much. The semi was our best race. It was fun to race, I felt well prepared and

Sofia, from looking at your website, it is obvious that you are a fan of lifting weights, how important do you feel it is to lift heavy in preperation for 200?
Hmmm….maybe it’s time to change some pictures ;). Weight lifting is great training wintertime in Sweden and it’s good to be strong as a kayaker.

What is your opinion on a young athlete specialising in this event, do you think specialising in this event posesses any advantage?
I think specialising possesses advantages if you know what you’re doing but I don’t think it’s a good idea to specialise at a young age.

Do you think that a successful 200 athlete requires different skills to that of a 500m paddler?
Yes there is a difference between a 200 paddler and a 500 paddler but you can be good at both distances.

Finally what advise would you give to any young 200m athletes looking to compete on the international scene?
Have fun and train hard!