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27 Feb 2015
IOC News

Anette Norberg: As cool as ice

Anette Norberg skippered Sweden’s women’s curling team to gold at Turin 2006 and Vancouver 2010. In our latest exclusive Words of Olympians interview, she reflects on that outstanding Olympic double.

The Turin 2006 women’s curling final went down to the last stone of the 11th end, with Switzerland and reigning world and European champions Sweden locked together at 6-6.

Swedish skip Anette Norberg was a picture of concentration as she sent a perfectly weighted and directed stone gliding down the sheet. Possessing enough power to dislodge the two Swiss stones in the house, it came gently to rest inside the outer blue circle, scoring the point she and team-mates Eva Lund, Cathrine Lindahl, Anna Svärd and Ulrika Bergman needed to make the title theirs.

“We went to Turin as very big favourites and we were supposed to take that gold medal, and we actually won five championships in a row for the years 2005 and 2006,” recalls Norberg. “It was an exciting game and I had to decide it myself on my last rock, and, of course, that was a special feeling.”

Norberg was on top again in Vancouver four years later, steering the Swedes to a 7-6 win over Canada on their home ice, a victory made all the sweeter by the fact that the Scandinavians had not been expected to prevail, so poor had their form been leading into the Games.

Recalling the first of her two medal ceremonies, which took place in the centre of Turin, in front of a large and enthusiastic crowd, she says: “It was really an amazing feeling… a special moment.”

Norberg’s Olympic successes earned her and her sport recognition back home. “I won a lot of other gold medals at the worlds and Europeans [three golds, two silvers and four bronzes in the worlds and seven European titles), but they can’t compare with those Olympic medals because curling is a small sport – at least in Sweden – so no one really cares when we win a European gold or a world championship gold,” she explains. 

“Winning the Olympics compares with winning an ice hockey medal, for example. I went to Turin and no one in Sweden really knew who I was… Coming back to my country two weeks later and getting recognised on the street was a really strange feeling.”

Norberg retired from curling in 2013. A maths graduate, she now works as a consultant for a major international audit, accounting and corporate advisory firm. Reflecting on what the Olympics mean to her, she says: “The most special thing with the Olympics is to be a part of a really big team. I’m used to being in a team of four players, but suddenly you are 100 people, both athletes and leaders, within the Swedish troop. I think that’s the most special thing. You share with the athletes competing in the other sports, and you have a great team spirit.”

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