Elin Nordegren was born on January 1, 1980, in Stockholm, Sweden to Barbro Holmberg and Thomas Nordegren. Her mother, Barbro, had been the Minister for Migration and Asylum Policy in Sweden between 2003 and 2006, and also served as the governor of Gavleborg County for seven years. Elin’s father, Thomas Nordegren, is a political journalist and writer; he also worked in Washington D.C. for some time as a bureau chief. Her siblings include elder brother Axel and twin sister Josefin.
Though Elin hails from a prominent, well-established family in Sweden, she didn’t necessarily grow up with a silver spoon in her mouth. She and her sister had to work to earn their pocket money. They worked as cashiers through the summers to pay for school. Erin also did some modeling work in the early 2000s, landing a cover on Cafe Sport magazine at just 20 years old.
She’d been working at a retail clothing store when she met Mia Parnevik, the wife of Swedish golfer Jesper Parnevik. Mia immediately took a liking to Elin and offered her a position as nanny to her children. Elin accepted and moved to the U.S. with the family as that’s where they were primarily situated. In the U.S., Elin would accompany the family to numerous golf tournaments, turning heads wherever she went.
She met Tiger at The Open Championship in 2001, and though he was smitten with her from the get-go, Elin “had no interest in Tiger, and he was OK with that,” as per Mia Parnevik. Elin told People magazine that she had her “opinions about celebrities,” but Tiger made her think they were more similar than expected.