A year after earning PBA Rookie of the Year honors, Sweden’s Jesper Svensson received one of his home country’s most prestigious awards when he was recognized as Sweden’s Rookie Sportsman of the Year at the annual Swedish Sports Gala.
Sharing the stage with Olympic gold medal winners from other sports, the 21-year-old two-handed player took center stage during a live nationally-televised black-tie gala to accept the award in front of millions of television viewers. After winning three of his five career PBA titles in 2016, including the 51st PBA FireLake Tournament of Champions, Svensson was chosen by a jury from the Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet over football (soccer) player Victor Nilsson Lindelöf, world champion Thai-boxer Patricia Axling and talented skier Ebba Andersson
The award is presented to a young and upcoming athlete. According to Swedish Bowling Federation reporter Markus Hegnelius, it marked the first time a bowler has received an award at the biggest stage of Swedish sports, bringing tenpin bowling onto the front pages of the newspapers.