Senior Swimmer Brings Icelandic Experience to Arkansas

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Senior Arkansas Swimmer Sigrun Sverrisdottir grew up in Iceland.  When she was 14 she knew after high school she wanted to come to the United States to continue her swimming career.  She chose the University of Arkansas because it was great fit academically and athletically.  When she first arrived on campus it was quite the eye opener.

“The first year I came it was during Christmas,” said Sigrun Sverrisdottir.  “We were in the middle of Christmas training and that was the hardest week of my life.”

Sverrisdottir has grown tremendously as a swimmer since that Christmas week swim.   Not only was she a great swimmer when she arrived at Arkansas, she was also a great leader because of her prior experiences.  In 2008 Sverrisdottir represented her home nation of Iceland in the Beijing Olympics.  The experience was something that Coach Schimmel believes has helped her and his whole team tremendously.

“Being a 2008 Olympian and bringing that type of leadership and work ethic to our team has been outstanding and invaluable,” said Arkansas Swimming Coach Sean Schimmel.

Sverrisdottir was not only an Olympian, but she is also the Icelandic National record holder in the 100, 200 and 400 freestyle.

“When you get that record it’s amazing,” said Sverrisdottir.  “Knowing that you are the fastest one from your home country, it makes you so proud.”

As her time at Arkansas begins to come to an end, Sverrisdottir could not have asked for a better experience.

“When I first walked in the door I felt like I had a family here,” said Sverrisdottir.  “Everyone wanted to take care of me.  I will remember that for the rest of my life.  I won't remember every meet but the girls will stay with me forever.”

Sverrisdottir and her teammates head to Columbia South Carolina Friday to face Florida State and the University of South Carolina.