Former PA Sports Journalist Stephan Nasstrom Dies Aged 70 | National sports
Stephan Nasstrom, who spent nearly 40 years covering sports for the Associated Press, has died. He was 70 years old.
Nasstrom’s family confirmed he died on Tuesday in Lima, Peru, where he was living after retiring in 2010 from the PA.
Based in Stockholm, Nasstrom has covered eight Olympics and numerous World Cups during his career. His specialties were skiing, soccer, tennis and athletics. But he’s also written on a variety of other sports, including Olympic wrestling, which he says “reminds me of what the first Olympics in Greece must have looked like.”
Nasstrom has traveled the world and was proud to cover events on multiple continents. He also had a strong attraction to baseball, a sport not very popular in his native Sweden, and often messaged his PA colleagues about pennant races and the World Series.
“He was as knowledgeable about different sports as any AP sports writer we had,” wrote Steve Wilson, the former president of the Olympic Journalists Association who covered the Olympic movement for the Associated Press for nearly of three decades until 2017, in an e-mail. “He particularly liked tennis, athletics and winter sports.
“As a Swede he loved to tell stories about Bjorn Borg and Stefan Edberg. He was a good tennis player himself. He was a tall, lanky, blond Swede with a zest for life. He always had a smile on his face and had a quick sense of humor, always ready with a joke. “
Nasstrom even went by the nickname “Elk”, although no one seemed to know where he got it from or who gave it to him.
His first World Cup took place in 1978 in Argentina, where he met a woman outside a restaurant who quickly became his wife, Angela. They had two sons, Daniel and Michael. It was during the 1994 tournament hosted by the United States that Nasstrom drew what he called “the greatest thrill” when Sweden finished third behind the Brazilian and Italian powers. His family was there throughout the tournament, staying in San Diego while Nasstrom followed the Swedish team across the United States.
Nasstrom was also able to arrange a meeting with Pelé for his eldest son, Daniel.
“I actually met Pelé in Stockholm thanks to my father, who managed to ‘talk to me inside’ through the security of the Råsunda national football stadium when I was a teenager,” recalls Daniel. Nasstrom in an email. “A photo with me and Pelé has always been one of his most cherished photos, my dad has told me that many times.”
A true storyteller, Nasstrom would delight his sons and their friends with stories from his journey into the “world of sport”.
“That’s what all my friends keep telling me,” Daniel wrote. “He was their favorite ‘daddy friend’ because he had so many fun stories to tell.”
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