Since 1982, Sweden’s Anette Norberg has been the skip of all the curling teams in which she has played. This role of captain, who has all the pressure on her shoulders when the last stones are thrown, suits her to a “T”. Indeed, in her professional life, Anette Norberg is a specialist insurance risk analyst. On the ice, she is the one who makes decisions, evaluates the opponents’ strategy and advises her partners on their choices. Having participated 10 times in the world championships (with three victories) and 15 times in the European championships (with seven titles), this Swedish curler has acquired vast elite experience of how important matches are played and won on details.
2006: matches full of suspense
At the 1006 Olympic Games in Turin, the Swedish team were favourites for the titles. After the first round, the Scandinavians were first in the rankings, with seven victories in nine matches. Qualified for the semi-final, the Swedes faced their Norwegian neighbours, who had beaten them 10-3 in the round robin stage. This time, the match was very close. In the eighth end, the Norwegian player missed her shot, aimed at producing a double take-out of the Swedish stones. The Swedes were a hair’s breadth from elimination. In the last end, Anette Norberg played the advantage perfectly, taking out the opponents’ last two stones, thus leading her team to the final. Sweden won 5-4.
In the gold medal match against Switzerland, the teams exchanged blow for blow. Although Sweden was leading by two points, the Swiss equalised in the 10th end. In the last end, Swiss skip Mirjam Ott managed a perfect delivery, playing two stones in the house. Anette Norberg had no choice – she had only one stone left and could not risk making a mistake. She had to take out the two Swiss stones and get her own one into the house if she wanted to win gold. She pulled it off perfectly! Her team and she were Olympic champions. Anette Norberg was able to raise her game for these last two decisive matches, leading her teammates to victory.
2010: a breath-taking final
With her teammates from the Härnösand club, Anette Norberg continued to harvest medals in international competitions. She was again runner-up in the world championships in 2009 and qualified for the 2010 Games in Vancouver. In the first phase of this Olympic tournament, the Swedes were beaten twice, and finished second behind the Canadian favourites. Facing China in the semi-final, Anette and her friends had an easy 9-4 victory, having widened the gap in the early ends. In the country of curling, the final against the Canadians was set to be an exciting one. Before the 10th end, the Swedes had scored only four points, and their hitherto more-consistent opponents had scored six. In the final ends, both skips played clumsily, but the Swedes came out of it better, managing to equalise, forcing a “decider” 11th end. Anette Norberg, on her last stone, won the point. But it was her opponent who would throw the last stone of the match. And the Canadian skip missed her throw, removing only one of the two targets. Anette Norberg, Eva Lund and Cathrine Lindhal could revel in their victory, wining a second consecutive Olympic title. For Anne Le Moine and Kajsa Bergstroem, the new team members, the joy was also immense, as they had won their first gold medals.