We asked Severin Blindenbacher, a member of the Swiss national hockey team competing at the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Sweden, about his links to the tournament’s host country.
Välkommen tillbaka till Sverige. How does it feel to be back in Sweden?
Severin Blindenbacher: I am very happy to be back in Sweden. I have missed it quite a bit. The atmosphere here is great.
We would like to congratulate you and your team on the outstanding achievement so far here in Stockholm at the 2013 Hockey World Championships.
Thank you, we are very motivated.
You played for one season in Karlstad for Färjestad BK. Can you tell about some of your good memories from your time in Sweden?
Yes indeed. I do have many good memories. First is playing hockey in Sweden, where the league is very professional and the spirit is different. The Swedes take hockey very seriously as it is a national sport, but I also have good memories of many people. The people are very relaxed. And of course the food, I ate lots of good, fresh fish from the sea.
What is – in your opinion – the best thing about this country? And do you have a recommendation for activities for people who haven’t been to Sweden before?
Where to start. I think discovering Stockholm by bike is by far my favourite. You get to see so much of the city if you explore it in this way.
Any traditional Swedish dishes you cook at home?
A good old classic: the one and only “Flygande Jackob”.
Now to another topic, I know for a fact you are very fond of travelling. Do you have a favourite destination you always return to?
Yes, every year I go to Ibiza in summer. I have a friend living there. The beaches are great, there are many restaurants serving delicious food, and there is a unique good vibe that makes it worth going there every year. But I also love vacationing in Switzerland, particularly in the Engadine – both in winter and summer. I really enjoy the hiking, going for a swim in the mountain lakes or just picking mushrooms. It is very relaxing and great to be outside in nature all day.
And which destination is on top of your list?
Right now it is Stockholm. It is definitely my kind of city with all the fine restaurants and great shops. And of course Swedish design matches my personal taste.
Do you have an object – aside from your passport – that you always take along on your travels?
Depending on where I go and what for. For example if I travel to play hockey I always have some earplugs as we are sleeping in double rooms and I need to get much rest.
Thank you very much and good luck for you and the Swiss national hockey team at the championships in Stockholm. We hope to fly you back with the gold medal.