Sunday 19 May 2019

Swedish Eurovision entry: Music was my saviour when injury ended sporting career

John Lundvik was a professional sprinter before he turned his mind to music.

John Lundvik was previously an athlete (Thomas Hanses)
John Lundvik was previously an athlete (Thomas Hanses)

By Alex Green, Press Association Entertainment Reporter, in Tel Aviv

Sweden’s entry in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest has said music was his “saviour” after he was forced to quit his career as a professional sprinter following a string of injuries.

John Lundvik ran for the IFK Vaxjo sports club in Sweden but left the team in his early 20s after hurting both his hamstrings.

But the 36-year-old, who was born in London but adopted by Swedish parents, said he was happy his sporting career was cut short as it had allowed him to compete in Eurovision in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Lundvik, who has lived in Sweden since he was six, told the Press Association: “It was in 2006. That was the year I said: ‘You know what, I’m done with athletics.’

“I pulled both my hamstrings and it was just so much rehab. That was a tough period because when a muscle breaks…

“Then music really came in as a saviour. I think it was a sign that I should do music and not athletics.

“I’m happy. I think everything happens for a reason. I’m happy I got injured.”

Lundvik is also behind Bigger Than Us, the song UK entry Michael Rice will sing in the grand final on Saturday.

Speaking alongside Rice on the day of the first live semi-final, he said: “It’s a huge honour because the song has found a home with a great singer, a great personality, and I think that is really rare to have that combination.

“I’m just honoured that Michael is actually doing it. He’s been fighting hard in his career and I’ve been doing the same.

“We both have similar stories when it comes to music, our striving to always go forwards and to have this dream come true. Right now we are living our dream.

“He’s in the final. I will be in the final. This is huge.”

Lundvik has also penned music for US hip hop show Empire and co-wrote the official song for the wedding of Swedish royalty Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden, and Daniel Westling in 2010.

He said: “Prince Daniel got married and he wanted to express his love to his future wife in a song.

“And there were so many people who tried to write that song but me and (Swedish Grammy-nominated writer) Jorgen Elofsson, we collabed and we wrote a song called When You Tell The World You’re Mine.

“That became the official song at their wedding. That was a huge boost for me in 2010.”

John Lundvik will perform Too Late For Love in the second live semi-final on Thursday for a place in Saturday’s grand final.

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