As part of our Global Series presented by Alibaba, we talked with Nicklas Backstrom about about his Swedish heritage. He touched on topics from his favorite holidays and traditions, sports he played growing up, and idols he looked up to. Here's a little inside look at his life outside of hockey:
Video: Global Series | Sweden
(On Swedish holidays and traditions)
I think my favorite is Swedish Midsummer. It's a big celebration we have the last weekend in June, that's usually when it is. It's a big celebration where we do all this crazy stuff, we are running around a big pole dancing and stuff, it's a lot of fun.
[For that holiday] we eat mostly Herring. Then at night, it's mostly barbecue, kinda like everything meat, chicken, stuff like that. For lunch that's the weird one, lots of Herring. But all different kinds of seafood, which I'm probably eating one-third of it.
(On incorporating Swedish culture to his life in the states)
That's the thing, it's kinda hard, but at the same time, I feel like it's nice. When you're here your adjusting to American culture, but then at the end of the season you maybe miss Sweden Swedish culture a bit. Have a little more Swedish dishes for the summer, so that's kinda nice you get both of it, which is a good thing. Me personally I'm more like, I've adjusted.
(On other sports he played growing up in Sweden)
I played a lot of sports when I was young, golf, tennis, soccer, floorball we have that back home. It's kinda like hockey with no skates, that's what we call it back home.
(On his favorite Swedish athletes growing up)
My favorite athlete when I was growing up was, when I was really young, I liked Peter Forsberg, Mats Sundin, all those hockey players. I was big fans of them, that's who I looked up to.
(On his favorite place to spend time when he goes back to Sweden)
My favorite place to go back home is, I would have to say my house actually. I like it there, especially after a busy season. It's nice to come home and relax. We are fortunate that we are right by the water too, I like that view. I usually go for maybe two months. Last summer it was two months, but that's enough, I think. I like it back there, but this is home now.