Hansson was a star swimmer on the Swedish and international circuits growing up. She set a senior national record in the 200m IM at the Swedish Short Course Championships and set a junior national record in the 100m IM. At the 2014 FINA World Championships, Hansson was part of Sweden's silver-medal winning 4x200m free relay team which broke the European record. At the 2014 European Championships in Berlin, she took home gold with the Swedish team in the 4x100m free and helped set a Swedish record for the silver-medal winning 4x200m free team.
All of that set Hansson up for a trip to the Olympics this summer.
"It was so cool," Hansson said of her experience in Rio. "It's been a dream for me my whole life ... I didn't perform as well as I wanted to, like I had bigger goals with the team that we didn't achieve, so the competition part I'm not super happy with, but it still was a great experience to be there."
Individually, Hansson finished 29th in the 200m IM and 32nd in the 100m fly, and helped the Swedish team finish fifth in the 4x100m and 4x200m free relays. She noted that she already has her sights set on Tokyo 2020.
Despite not earning a medal in Rio, Hansson says she felt lucky to experience the Olympics with two people in particular: her younger sister, Sophie, and nine-time USC All-American Stina Gardell.
"It was awesome having someone you know so well, when you get nervous or anything, you can always talk to them and they'll be there to listen," Hansson said of sharing her Olympic experience with her little sister.
Hansson also said that along with her coaches growing up, Gardell, a longtime Swedish national teammate, was the catalyst in getting her from Helsingborg, Sweden to USC's campus in Los Angeles, CA.
"All my free coaches back home went to college --- not to USC --- but college in America somewhere," Hansson said. "[Gardell] always talked to me about USC and how fun it is here. So when I was looking at colleges, USC was the first school I was looking at."
Hansson mentioned that in Rio, Gardell pointed out the other swimmers who prepped at USC, including Santo Condorelli, Tim Wynter and Dylan Carter. Now, Hansson is on campus with some of these swimmers, and seems to be loving every minute. Earlier this semester, she caught her first glimpse of American football, during which she admitted being "mostly confused," but still having fun.
Despite coming to USC from halfway across the world, Hansson has made a seamless transition into college life, and especially college athletics. In her first collegiate competition last month against Washington State, she won three events. In her second swim meet as a Trojan (last week at the SMU Classic), she set a meet record in the 200y IM.
For an Olympic swimmer, early season NCAA competition might sound easy, but Hansson explained that both meets so far have been "really intense."
"It's such a short time, with only like five minutes between your races," Hansson said. "I'm usually swimming a lot, so I'm usually having a lot of races, but it's usually like 30-40 minutes between, not five. So it's just in the water and out, trying to prepare for the next race."
Hansson and the USC swimming & diving team will host their first home meet of the season on Friday at 2 p.m. at USC's Uytengsu Aquatic Center.