What a way to celebrate a historic anniversary. Two years to the day after Switzerland’s national women’s team won bronze at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, the Swiss women beat Slovakia 5-2 in the bronze-medal game of the Lillehammer 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games.
Noemi Ryhner is one of the smallest women on the Swiss team but she had the biggest impact, scoring three goals as the Swiss rallied from a 1-0 first-period deficit.
“I’ve never scored three goals in a game before,’’ said Ryhner, adding that the Swiss women did a little soul-searching in the first intermission.
“We had a little talk,’’ she said. “We had to play our game and our style, not let Slovakia play their style. We wanted to use our team spirit, and we did.
“This is an important victory for women’s hockey in Switzerland.”
The Swiss women watched a video of the Sochi bronze-medal game before they took to the ice at Kristins Hall in an attempt to make their own history.
Switzerland celebrate after scoring a goal in their match against Slovakia. Photo: YIS / IOC Arnt Folvik
“I can’t believe I will get a medal but I will believe it tomorrow when I see it,” said Rhyner, referring to the medal ceremony that will follow the gold-medal match between Sweden and the Czech Republic.
“I am very grateful and so happy for us,” added Lisa Ruedi. “It was one of the best teams I have ever had and we were such a good group. We have a good team spirit and everyone helped each other.
“We wanted a medal and we worked, worked, worked hard for this. We trained a whole year and we know each other so well. It's a dream to be here.”
Written by YIS / IOC ALAN ADAMS
Alan Adams is a reporter for the Lillehammer Youth Information Service ‘YIS’. Based in Toronto, Canada, he has covered sports since the mid-1980s including covering five Winter Olympic Games.