My name is Julio Sanchez; I grew up in a small suburb of Sundsvall called Bergeforsen. It’s about four and a half hours north of Stockholm, Sweden. I had a small family that consisted of myself, my mother and father, and my sister.

Class trip to Stockholm in 1988

Class trip to Stockholm in 1988

My mother and I like to joke around that I was a perfect kid, but in actuality, I was pretty normal. Like most other kids I spent a lot of time outside in the

summer. I participated in a lot of different clubs and sports when I was younger like hockey, soccer, martial arts, and also chess. This helped meet a lot of people growing up. I also did quite a bit of downhill skiing and fishing because my grandmother on my dad’s side lived close to a major ski resort in Sweden.

As I grew up, I finished high school where I took German for about six years, we started learning English in about the fourth grade, and I had known Swedish, football newspaperNorwegian, and Danish. Basically, we can all communicate with one another. You can’t really understand everything, but one person can talk in Swedish and the other can talk in Norwegian and you can still pretty much understand everything. Then I spent a year in the Air Force before I worked for a few small companies in Sweden. One of these companies was a telecommunications company called Telenor Comma. It’s a Norwegian company and I spent my time there stocking shelves and stuff like that. After doing martial arts for about eight years, I wanted to try something else and they didn’t have rugby in my city so I tried out for American Football. I borrowed a helmet and shoulder pads and we practiced inside and I loved every minute of it! I played on a European all star team where I was featured in countless newspapers and even on the cover of a magazine. It worked out really well for me because my manager at Telenor Comma was a Football coach at the University of Wisconsin Platteville. He ended up doing a coaches clinic in Sweden and that was how I decided to come to the United States. I was only 19 years old.

 

Coming to America