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Linda Haglund at Globen in Stockholm, 2013.
|Born||June 15, 1956|
Haglund became a member of Hanvikens SK, a track and field club located just south of Stockholm, at the age of 13. She showed great promise as a future sprinting star by recording, barefoot, 12.7 for 100 m at her first meet representing Hansvikens SK. Haglund's precocious talent was displayed on an international stage at the European Championships of 1971, held in Helsinki, Finland. She was named on the Swedish track and field team that competed in Helsinki that year. She was 15 at the time and acknowledged as the youngest athlete of the meet. One year later, Haglund was appointed to the first of three Swedish Olympic teams: Munich, 1972. Her running career would take her to the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games, as well as those held in Moscow in 1980. Haglund had her best Olympic Games' showing with a fourth place in the Moscow Games' 100 m final.
Haglund can lay claim to other outstanding sprinting accomplishments, including participation in World Cups of 1979 (Montreal) and 1981 (Rome). She was a five-time medalist at European Championships held in 1976 (Gold), 1978 (Silver), 1978 (Silver), 1980 (Silver), and 1981 (Silver). Haglund was the captain for many years of the women's track and field team in Sweden and still holds Swedish records for 100M - 11.16 (1980), 200M - 22.82 (1978), and 60M - 7.13 (1978). Haglund was one of very few sprinters to have beaten Evelyn Ashford. Haglund ran 11.06 (wind-aided) to better Jarmila Kratochvílová's 11.18 and Ashford's 11.25 in a 1981 meet in Berlin. Haglund was rated 2nd, 5th, and 7th in world rankings during her running career.
Haglund's stellar running career was brought to an abrupt end in 1981 under a cloud of suspicion of an alleged "two pills", the result of a failed drug test. A Swedish board of adjudicators found Haglund innocent of charges and turned over their decision for consideration to an international track and field tribunal assembled in Kingston, Jamaica in 1982. Hans Holmer and Haglund traveled to Jamaica to prove her innocent, with the right evidence for her not being charged in the matter, but in the 80s, there was other laws for sport than in society, Haglund and Holmer never regretted the "trip" it still was a victory for them to see and an eye opener for the world of sport. Hans Holmer, later to become known as the Chief of Special Investigation in the assassination of the Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme in 1986, was a principal in Haglund's defense, alongside Ulf Ekelund, the General Secretary of the Swedish Track and Field Federation.
Legacy and honors
Haglund was a pioneer for women in sports in Sweden. Not only was she an outspoken champion of equality regarding pay and sponsorship, she was the first modern Swedish woman athlete to have a manager. Egon Hakansson and Haglund lobbied and obtained lucrative contracts from coveted sponsors of the day.
Haglund belongs to the Legends of "1956", a sports fraternity of outstanding Swedish athletes born in 1956: Björn Borg, Ingmar Stenmark, Thomas Wassberg and Frank Andersson. She is an honored member of the Swedish Sports Academy consisting of 100 athletes in 100 years of Swedish sport from 1899 to 1999 and was awarded Victoriastipendiet in 1981.
Haglund has worked for Jenny Craig Weight Loss Center, as a counselor, manager and a supervisor in the Los Angeles Area for about five years. And as a Head Track Coach for Santa Monica College 1989.With great success - she was assisted by Renée Felton (the American mother of Italian long jumper Andrew Howe - and counselor for the school at the time was the great runner of 1968 Tommie Smith. Linda Haglund is always grateful - to the manager of Carl Lewis - Joe Douglas - that made it possible for her to work for Santa Monica College and Lee Finch - athletic director at the time.
Haglund is a painter and designer - she has had several exhibitions. She is inspired by Chagall, Russian born painter. Linda Haglund - linda gazelle design is inspired by Danish and Swedish design - the beauty of Scandinavia.
She penned a book on health and wellness, Lindas må bra bok (Linda's feel good book), published by Prisma in 2007.
Haglund is related to the singer and actor Otto Brandenburg of Denmark. And Tom Elling writer and film-photographer of Denmark.