Bengt Gustavsson was already playing in Italy by then, appearing for top teams like Santal Parma and eventually Sisley Treviso. Sweden was a team on the rise, led by coach Anders Kristiansson. Eventually, with Gustavsson as their star they qualified for the 1988 Olympics appeared in two European Championships semi finals, winning silver at home in 1989 (more on that later). The team and their star drifted quickly out of the limelight; the latter a victim of a career ending motorcycle accident, the former in large part due to the absence of the latter.
What I remember most of Gustavsson was his impossible athleticism. I have competed against, or at least seen in person, virtually every top player of the last 25 years and I cannot think of a single one with comparable athleticism. In the video below you can watch his explosiveness and balance, as well as the languid ease with which he does all of it. I just had to write languid.
I really enjoyed watching this game and his performance (he ended with 14 points + 28 sideouts).
About Mark Lebedew:
Mark Lebedew authors the At Home on the Court Blog. He coaches professionally in Poland, in season 2019/20 with Aluron Virtu CMC Warta Zawiercie. That follows five seasons Germany where his Berlin Recycling Volleys won three straight league titles and a CEV Champions League bronze medal. He has prior professional experience in Belgium and Italy. Mark was also Head Coach for the Australian Men’s National Team.
Mark partnered with his brother and father to translate and publish “My Profession: The Game“, the last book by legendary Russian coach, Vyacheslav Platonov.
With John Forman, he is behind the Volleyball Coaching Wizards project (link http://volleyballcoachingwizards.com/) which identifies great coaches from all levels, making their experience, insights, and expertise available to people all over the world. The project has produced multiple books, a in e-book format available here ( link to http://bit.ly/34yakou ) or in print at Amazon here (link https://amzn.to/2JRqTE6)
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