Peter Forsberg

Peter Forsberg and the Olympics

1 Comment

Peter Forsberg, one of the most iconic Olympic hockey players, will be inducted into the International Ice Hockey Federation Hall of Fame on Monday.

Forsberg won two Olympic gold medals (1994, 2006), played in four Olympics overall and scored the most famous shootout goal in Olympic history in the Lillehammer 1994 gold-medal game.

Forsberg began his senior international career by winning the World Championship with Sweden in 1992, three months after the Albertville Olympics.

Forsberg, then 18, would have been the youngest player (by three years) on the 1992 Sweden Olympic team had he been selected.

He was asked about the possibility of making the 1992 Olympic team on the day he was taken by the Philadelphia Flyers in the first round of the 1991 NHL Draft.

“I don’t think I’m going to play there [in Albertville],” he said, according to the (Allentown, Pa.) Morning Call. “I don’t think I’m good enough.”

Sweden finished fifth in Albertville without him.

Forsberg was plenty good enough for the Lillehammer 1994 Winter Games. He was the second-youngest player on the team.source:

Forsberg was among the 1994 tournament leaders with six assists, but he is best remembered for scoring the gold medal-winning goal in the seventh round of an extended shootout with Canada in the final.

Forsberg skated to Canadian goalie Corey Hirsch‘s right and, as Hirsch lunged to his right, Forsberg cheekily leaned his arm and stick across Hirsch’s body and swept the puck into net.

The goal was commemorated on a Swedish stamp. Forsberg had exceeded the pre-Games billing as one of the most promising players in the tournament, the final Olympics before NHL players joined.

“It was and will always be a big part of my career and something that catapulted me into celebrity status in the hockey world,” Forsberg told NHL.com.

Forsberg returned for the Nagano 1998 Olympics, after winning Rookie of the Year and a Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche.

In Nagano, Sweden fell to Finland in the quarterfinals and was coached by Forsberg’s father.

After missing the 2002 Olympics due to injury, Forsberg led Sweden with six assists en route to gold at the Torino 2006 Winter Games. He helped set up the game winner in a 3-2 victory over Finland in the final.

“When I was 20, I didn’t know how hard it would be to get back and win another gold medal,” Forsberg, who flew to Italy with a groin strain and didn’t play in the first two games, told media after the game.

Those were expected to be Forsberg’s final Olympics, but he returned for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics at age 36, almost two years after his last NHL game. (Forsberg later made a two-game NHL comeback in 2011.)

Forsberg did not star in Vancouver, recording one assist in four games as Sweden lost to Slovakia in the quarterfinals.

“This is not the way we wanted it to end,” Forsberg told The Associated Press after his final Olympic game.

Forsberg finished his Olympic career with two goals and 17 assists, according to sports-reference.com, a testament to his skills as one of the sport’s greatest playmakers.

Holley Mangold takes 13th at World Weightlifting Championships

Sam Girard, Olympic short track champion, surprisingly retires at age 22

Sam Girard
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Sam Girard, who avoided a three-skater pileup to win the PyeongChang Olympic 1000m, retired from short track speed skating at age 22, saying he lost the desire to compete.

“I leave my sport satisfied with what I have accomplished,” Girard said in a press release. “This decision was very well thought through. I am at peace with the choice that I’ve made and am ready to move onto the next step.”

Girard and girlfriend and fellow Olympic skater Kasandra Bradette announced their careers end together in a tearful French-language press conference in Quebec on Friday.

Girard detailed the decision in a letter, the sacrifices made to pursue skating. Notably, moving from his hometown of Ferland-et-Boilleau, population 600, to Montreal in 2012. His hobbies had been of the outdoor variety, but he now had to drive an hour and a half from the training center just to go fishing.

In PyeongChang, Girard led for most of the 1000m final, which meant he avoided chaos behind him on the penultimate lap of the nine-lap race. Hungarian Liu Shaolin Sandor‘s inside pass took out South Koreans Lim Hyo-Jun and Seo Yi-Ra, leaving just Girard and American John-Henry Krueger.

Girard maintained his lead, crossing .214 in front of Krueger to claim the title. He also finished fourth in the 500m and 1500m and earned bronze in the relay.

“My first Olympics, won a gold medal, can’t ask for more,” he said afterward.

Though Girard was already accomplished — earning individual silver medals at the 2016 and 2017 Worlds — he came to PyeongChang as the heir apparent to Charles Hamelin, a roommate on the World Cup circuit whom Girard likened to a big brother. Girard earned another world silver medal this past season.

Hamelin, after taking individual gold in 2010 and 2014, left PyeongChang without an individual medal in what many expected to be his last Olympics. However, he went back on a retirement vow and continued to skate through the 2018-19 season.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: J.R. Celski explains decision to retire

Maia, Alex Shibutani extend break from ice dance competition

AP
Leave a comment

Brother-sister ice dance duo Maia and Alex Shibutani will not compete next season, the Olympic bronze medalists announced via U.S. Figure Skating on Friday.

“We’re healthier and stronger than we were after the Olympics, and we’re continuing to push ourselves,” Maia Shibutani said in a press release.

“We’ve continued to skate a lot, and we feel like we’ve benefited from some time away to create in different environments and focus on experiences that can help us grow,” Alex said.

The “Shib Sibs” won the U.S. title in 2016 and 2017. They won their first world medal in 2011 (bronze) before reaching the world podium again in 2016 and 2017 with silver and bronze, respectively.

They most recently competed at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, where they earned bronze both individually and in the team event.

Maia and Alex Shibutani are now the second ice dance medalists from PyeongChang to announce they’ll sit out at least part of next season. Gold medalists Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada will tour instead this fall and are not expected to return to competition.

The siblings haven’t stayed away from the ice entirely in their break from the sport, though — they’ve also been touring and performing in shows.

The Shibutanis became the second set of siblings to earn Olympic ice dance medals after France’s Isabelle and Paul Duchesnay in 1992.

MORE: How Gracie Gold landed in Philadelphia, thoughts competitive return

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!