Partnership for Paralympics
The road to Rio was a bumpy one for Gunilla Wallengren, but she made it. The track and field athlete made her dream come true, clinching a spot on the Swedish team competing in the Rio Paralympic Games. There were many supporters anxiously following the action from home. Swedes like SKF’s Daniel Werme, who has followed Gunilla’s journey closely since that day she contacted him looking for help.
“It all started with a phone call from Gunilla who wanted to go faster with her racing wheelchair. We accepted the "challenge" and we knew we could help her by reducing the friction in the ball bearings,” says Werme. “When Gunilla set three different records with her new technical setup we knew we were on to something good. So we thought, why don´t we help everyone in the Swedish Paralympic team.”
And that’s just what SKF did, entering into a technical partnership with the Swedish Parasport Federation and the Swedish Paralympic Committee. The company didn’t just want to just be a sponsor. As a partner, SKF Sweden provides customized bearings and other technical solutions for the para-athletes in Rugby, Track and Field and cycling.
“Everyone who gets involved in this project says that it’s a lot of fun and they’re passionate about their contribution,” states Werme.“What I am most proud of? That we really make a difference for the athletes by providing the best technical solutions for their different sports. And the energy we get back from the athletes is fantastic!”
Werme and his communications team contacted STARK to produce a film about Gunilla’s journey to Rio. This was the result (which we are quite proud of).
Gunilla is home again after competing in several events at the Paralympics. No medals this time, but a year’s best and the satisfaction of just being able to compete in Rio – which was her dream.