Anette Norberg arrived in Vancouver knowing that a piece of Olympic history was within her grasp...
Anette Norberg arrived in Vancouver knowing that a piece of Olympic history was within her grasp. A gold medal performance from her Swedish rink would make her the first skip to defend the title. A highly experienced and successful skip, Norberg had guided Sweden to victory over Switzerland at Turin 2006 and had also led the rink that won silver in Calgary back in 1988, when curling was included on the programme as a demonstration sport.
She also had three world titles and no fewer than seven European crowns to her name. In short, this was a skip who knew how to win on the big stage. Furthermore, in Vancouver she had the advantage of leading out the same team that had won gold in Turin, with Anna Le Moine at lead, Cathrine Lindahl second and Eva Lund third.
The competition would be even stiffer than usual in Vancouver, however, with Canada certain to be strong in front of their home crowd, while China had made huge strides since coming to the sport only a decade earlier.
Sweden advanced from the round-robin phase with seven wins to set up a semi-final against the Chinese. After a tightly contested opening Norberg’s rink pulled away at the halfway stage and eventually won 9-5.
The other semi-final was a much closer affair, as Canada edged out Switzerland 6-5 to set up an intriguing final between the reigning champions and the curling-mad home nation.
In a tense series of opening ends, Sweden went into an early 4-2 lead before the Canadians fought back to level the score and then go into the lead themselves. With her side trailing 6-4 with one end to play, Norberg held her nerve to score the two points needed to keep the match alive. In the extra end that followed, Canadian skip Cheryl Bernard was left with the task of clearing two stones with her final attempt. She could only displace one, giving Sweden the point they needed to retain their title.
The Swedes had made history and were understandably jubilant in victory. The quartet broke up soon after, leaving Norberg to rebuild the team before she herself decided to retire in 2013.