Kajsa Margareta Bergqvist (
; born October 12, 1976 in Sollentuna Municipality in Stockholm
County) is a former Swedish high jumper.
She has won one bronze medal
in the Olympic Games
, one gold and two
bronze medals in the World Championships in Athletics and one gold
and one bronze in the European Championships. Her personal outdoor
record of 2.06 m, set in Germany in 2003, is
also a Swedish record. Her indoor record at 2.08 m, set in Germany in 2006, is
also the world indoor record.
was born up in Sollentuna Municipality in Stockholm
Her interest in sport began when she was 6 years
old and tried sports such as football
and cross-country skiing
, none of which was
able to keep her interest.
When she was 10 years old, she was persuaded by her big brother,
Anders, to compete in Rösjöloppet
, a long-distance track event
that event, she began to try out several athletic
Bergqvist continued to train in several athletic
events until she was 15
years old, when a new coach, Bengt
, came to her club, Turebergs
. Soon after his arrival, he and Bergqvist chose to
concentrate on the event that was her best, high jump
attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas (USA) in
1995-1999, with a degree in Advertising. She was the NCAA
champion in 1997 with a clearance of 1.93 in the rain at the
Indiana University over Amy Acuff of
UCLA ending her streak at two.
She won the NCAA
meet again in 1999 with a height of 1.90 in Boise. In the season
1999, she tied Acuff's collegiate outdoor record of 1.95 (6-6).
That record is sometimes omitted as it was set in international
competition after the NCAA meet.
2001-2008 she lived in Monaco.
By 2004, lack of progress and long travel distances caused
Bergqvist to end the relationship with her coach, Bengt Jönsson
. She joined a group of
athletes (including Olympic gold medalist Christian Olsson
) under Yannick Tregaro
competition in Båstad, on July 18,
2004, Bergqvist tore her Achilles
tendon. Due to the injury, she missed the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, but managed
to return to form just in time for the 2005 World Championships
in Athletics in Helsinki.
There she made an impressive series of
jumps to edge out Chaunte Howard
the gold medal. Her Helsinki victory earned the Svenska Dagbladet Gold Medal
for that year.
she had been ranked the number one female high
jumper in the world but failed to win in that summer's European
Championships in front of her home fans in Gothenburg, having to settle for a bronze medal.
Arnstadt, Germany, on February
4, 2006, Bergqvist set her first world record.
attempt indoor leap of 2.08 m to surpass Heike Henkel
's 2.07 m leap on February 8, 1992.
The record wasn't totally unexpected since she jumped 2.00 m
already in the warm up for the competition.
Bergqvist chose not to compete in the 2007 European
Indoor Athletics Championships
, opting, instead, to concentrate
on defending her world outdoor crown. She had not started the
indoor season well, and was nowhere near the form which had seen
her set the world record the year before. It did not pay off as she
finished 7th in Osaka.
Bergqvist married director Måns
on New Year's Eve
2007 and shortly afterwards, on January 7, 2008, announced that she
would retire from high jumping. She had found her life entering "a
new phase" and that she no longer felt as motivated to keep
competing, even after her break in 2007.
Since her retirement, she has been an ambassador
for both UNICEF
and the IAAF
Kajsa Bergqvist's 2.06 m jump in
- Arcoleo, Laura (2007-07-07). World Youth Press Conference - Athletes' quotes.
IAAF. Retrieved on
- Turner, Chris (2005-10-24). Bergqvist is appointed as UNICEF Ambassador.
IAAF. Retrieved on