One of the reasons I started this blog was to share conversations with friends around the world. I’ve been fortunate to attend amongst the best tournaments in the world and as I continue to attend more and more I’ll meet more interesting people.
This first conversation is with Kim Modig of Sweden. I first met Kim in 2008 in Rimini. I’d spent the better part of the week on the beach playing with local teams when on Wednesday I found a group of young gents doing very silly things on the beach. They were running huck drills, juggling discs, throwing a disc into the wind and then throwing themselves after it, horsing around, and in general starting Paganello as early as they could. This young team was Tailspin from Sweden. We joked around on the beach and threw the disc for a bit before heading our separate ways late in the afternoon.
Later on in the tournament I watched them take out one Junior team after another before succumbing to injuries and a short bench in the finals (a loss to the Austrian Juniors).
In 2009 Tailspin returned to Paganello once again but in Open as opposed to Junior’s, these guys were ready for the challenge of playing the toughest beach teams in the world. They entered Paganello in 28th spot and left in 28th spot which leads one to believe that as these kids grow up they’ll start to make waves.
After both tournaments I’ve kept in touch with the players and what follows is a conversation with Kim.
How many teams play Ultimate in Sweden?
At indoors nationals this year it was 12 teams in the open division and it was like 5 teams who didnt come so its like 17 teams in Sweden.
You guys seem to travel to nearby countries [to play], is that common?
Yes, Denmark has 2 good tournaments / year and thats Furious Five there you play without any subs and its indoor. The other one is called Wonderful Copenhagen Ultimate (WCU) and is played outdoors i may (last weekend).
What’s the top team in Sweden?
Skogs Ultimate from Gothenburg but Viksjöfors as all of us are playing in is the second best. We are going to win Nationals, no doubt!
Does Tailspin play together year around or does the distance get in the way?
Tailspin is a Paganello-team. We call us that when are playing tournaments that are not that serious, but at Nationals and EUCF and other big tournaments we are playing in Viksjöfors!
Are you in contention for Prague?
Viksjöfors is going with a squad of 30 guys.
How are teams that head to Prague decided upon?
The team who win Nationals are allowed to go to Prague, the runner up may get a wildcard what we heard.
Sweden performs well at WUGC but it’s been a while since WUCC was near enough for Swedish teams to attend. How do you think Sweden will do in Prague?
The team who goes has very good chances to come far.
How do Swedish Women’s teams perform?
We dont have many Swedish women team. So if a team goes to Prague there will a dreamteam from many teams.
Is there much Mixed Ultimate in Sweden?
No, almost nothing!
How long does it take players to get their Grass legs back?
Haha, not long at all.
What are some of your favourite tournaments?
Paganello ofcourse! After that is tough maybe Winter Trophy (indoor tournament in Gothenburg).
What sports does Ultimate face competition with in Sweden?
Noone in Sweden who doesnt play Ultimate know what it is so every sport is bigger.
Who are the major/top players in Swedish Ultimate? I remember you guys telling me about a player that used to layout indoors like Tommy (spelling?) was doing on the beach last year.
The player who got the award for the best player of the year in Sweden was Erik Dahlberg who is playing in our team, Viksjöfors. But another guy who is in top to is Sebastian Sporrong who played with Furious Gerorge last year after WUGC in Vancouver. The guy that we talked about is our friend Jonathan Sjögren, he plays in Skogs and do sick layots and is very fast but he are not to familiar with the disc but a great guy!
Is there much College/University Ultimate played in Sweden?
You guys have been European Junior Champions and have recently started playing Open, how do you find it? Is it a tough transition? Is it harder than you thought it would be?
No, we knew its gonna be tough but i think we lost some games beacause we had little much to drink the day before. If paganello should be a non-party-tournament we should have come much better!
I remember at Paganello Tailspin played UFO and one gentleman got extremely angry in what he called a foul (this question is specifically towards Kim), what led to that? Do you think you play with more intensity than other teams or more physically? Is it a Swedish style or a Tailspin style?
I think you mean the game awards Big-ez and i dont know if we play that tough, if we do that we are not playing ugly just tough.
And it that game I first count the guy out and he contested so i went back to stolling 9 and the first I did was to layout in front of him and blocked and then he called foul. He got it back at stolling 9 again and got through a bad pass and the he went deep and i did a layout and blocked the disc again! And what did he do? He picked up the disc called foul and threw the disc at me and called me idiot. This guy was the gut with the worse spirit i have ever played against! Not okey!
[Note: It was indeed Big-EZ, no offense intended towards UFO or Big-EZ]
How often do you (Tailspin) train?
Together as Tailspin? Never! Together as Viksjöfors? Never!
We live so far from eachother so everyone practice on your own and then play together in the tournaments.
What are some other tournaments that you’ve played at since then? Any memorable ones?
The coolest tournament i ever been on were WJUC in Boston 2006. Was my first tournament with the Junior Natinals team and the first one abroad.
Do you think you’ll stick together as a team or move around to other teams?
We are always gonna play together but me and Clas is gonna go to Miami next autumm and play some Ultimate. But we have decided which team we are gonna play with.
Thanks to Kim for his time in answering these questions. I have a few more conversations coming up with interesting folks from around the world.
I believe the Swedish National Championships are this upcoming weekend and we should know who will head to Prague shortly after then.