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Malin! Happy Birthday to you! >>>

Malin! Happy Birthday to you! # Armwrestling #

Malin Kleinsmith had a birthday recently. I thought about it and realized that I knew very little about her. So I asked a few questions that I haven't asked before. I think you will learn a lot of interesting things about this athlet. Welcome! ()

Besides sports?

Beside armwrestling I work as a manager of the ”Service department” in the Municipality of Sollentuna in Stockholm. I have a total of 45 employees, but I am the direct manager of three other managers. In my job besides being a manager I also kind of work as a business developer and help other departments to improve their departments or processes in different ways. Right now I work with Sollentunas IT-support, to make it run better than it does today. I just love working with improvements, and work with people to reach a certain goal.


I come from a big family, and have four siblings. Two older brothers and two younger sisters. We are all born within 5,5 years. So my oldest brother is 5,5 years older than my youngest sister. Non of them armwrestle, but all of them work out. Our mom is from Finland, so we are half Finnish.

My dad is my hero, he is 67 years old, and is in such a good health, he bikes everyday around 40-50km per day.

I also have two kids, who are the loves of my life. Kela my smart, kind, strong and beautiful daughter, she is 12 years old. And my son Cade who is a crazy, funny, kind and cute little thinker, who is 8 years old. They are half Canadians, since my ex-husband is a Canadian.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in a rough neighbourhood in Tyresö, in Stockholm. It was a neighbourhood, where many families, not all, lived on social fare. It was a lot of drug addicts and drunks that lived there, together with poor and less poor familys, from many different cultures. We also had a close friendship with many of our neighbours and their kids and had the time of our life living there. Where the kids where everyones kids, we got raised by all the parents there.

I got to see the great in life, and also got to experience the bad side of life, friends dying from drugs, friends that got murdered, childhood friends taken away from their familys by social services, childhood friend whos dad killed his mom, and we watched the ambulance take out the body in a body bag. I have seen familys in the bottom, working them selfs up to the top, other friends that came from the same area that became doctors and lawyers.

Still today I see our closest neighbours and the kids that lived on my street as my family.

I am super proud of my background, and that I was given the opportunity to grow up with so many different people around me with both poor and rich, to see the good and bad. It has really made me humble to people, and to treat people with great respect. It has also taught me to fight for what I stand for, and fight for injustice.

I think that in the armwrestling world people know me as a person always close to laughter and jokes, and know me as a person taking life lightly. I think that if you have experienced what I have experienced, you don´t take normal life problems too serious. And the love, hospitality and happiness I got and felt from people, some of them nearly having nothing, thaught me that being rich is not about money, it´s about being happy and satisfied with what you have, and sharing that with others. And not longing for everything you don´t have., if that makes sense.

What did you do as at child and teenager?

Since we were five sibling so close in age, my parents has a hard time remembering who did what when we grew up, when we were just toddlers. But my dad said that I was always happy and had a great laughter that made everyone around me laugh with me.

I remember I always teased my oldest brother, he was scary to me and kind of a bitter teenager, that didn´t want to have hiss ister hanging around too close. I used to fire him up by teasing him so he would chase me around the apartment and kicking my but when he finally got a hold of me. Even when I locked myself in the bathroom I knew that I had to go out from there at one point and he would kick my ass.

But one day when it was raining outside, I put my shoes and jacket on, took my schoolbag in my hands, unlocked the outside door and then went in to his room and teased him for something and he got furious and chased me out in the mud with only his socks on and I got away, he yelled ”when you come home from school I will kill you”.

I felt like a winner the whole day, finally I got away…but off course I got my ass kicked when I got home.

As a young teenager I spent time with all kind of different people and some where not the best kind of kids that you would wish your kids to be friends with, doing drugs and robbing stores and so on. We drank a lot of alcohol and paried a lot. But I was too scared of doing any drugs or robbing stores, since my mom was a very firm Finnish lady, and I didn´t dare to disappoint her. But I started with armwrestling when I was 15 years old, at a youth club in Tyresö, where the armwrestler Anders Karlsson was the youth club leader and he taught us armwrestling. I was strong from the beginning, and started to practice at this youth club every week. That made me feel like I was finally good at something and I got stuck, and it probably took me away from doing bad stuff, and here I am 26 years later.

Have you had moments when you have wanted to leave the sport?

I have never had moments when I have wanted to leave the sport for real. I am actually scared of leaving the sport. I have armwrestled longer than I havent since I have done this for 26 years. Who am I without the armwrestling? It´s a scary thought.

You are the champion, the queen of armwrestling, but honestly – do you feel like a queen?

Ha, ha, ha. Thank you for that compliment. I wouldn´t call myself ”The queen of armwrestling” maybe ”the craziness of armwrestling”. There is so many other females that would fit more with that title than me.

But to be serious for a long time in my youths and as a young adult I felt like I was in the shadow of others, I knew I was pretty good at armwrestlig but never got credit for it.

We had the great Heidi Andersson as the big name in Sweden and we won every other Swedish championships for a long time, and I was the one that a few times per year could win a match against her. She off course was the world champion and deserved the spot light.

But I felt that even when I did good, it only mattered if you won a gold at a world championship. I always placed in the top 3 when I competed at the world championships and I had three silver medals. But never that one gold.

So I never felt satisfied, until 2018 when I finally won my world champion gold, in a very very tough class, -65kg with names like Fia Reisek, Irina Gladkaya and Olga Shlizhevskaya in it. Finally I felt like a winner and felt like I deserved to be a name to mention, and after that I have felt like I don´t need to prove myself anymore.

Which time, years, was the happiest period in you life?

It´s a really tough question, I feel like I have a great life right now, with the best kids in the world, with great friends, a sport that I can still enjoy, a job that I love. I love my life today, and I loved my life 10 years ago. But I think the happiest period in my life is now! I feel satisfied with life. Me, my family and close friends are having the health, and I have enough of love, enough of money, enough of work, enough of problems. And I feel that I am free to do what I want right now So maybe I would say that today is the happiest period of my life so far.

Tell me how a typical day looks like, normaly (not during Corona)

A typical day I work office hours. Most of my days is spending time at meetings or problem solving. After work or during lunch break I go to the gym and lift weights. Ones a week I practice armwrestling. Off course when I have my kids I spend time with them and try to be a fun and loving mom. Right now I train my son in boxing, just for fun. So he works out almost every day, my daughter is not interested.

Other than that I plan and talk about armwrestling with my armwrestling friends. Or plan activities mostly with Fia, it can be to meet up and train together (we live 5 hours away from each other), or just plan our next step in our film making or plan traveling together.

But during the weekends I spend time with my friends and family and I often have a busy schedule. At least ones a week I try to go out and bike with my dad, I am so happy I can do that and that he has the health. He is my rock and my role model.

PeSzy: Malin! Thank you very much for a sincere and interesting conversation.

Malin Kleinsmith: I would also like to thank and greet all the world's armwrestlers!

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