Column: Swedish hockey captain missed the silver lining

Sportsmanship is also a skill that needs practice after Lias Andersson threw his silver medal into the crowd

The world got to see some great hockey on Friday when Canada battled the Swedes for gold at the Junior World Championship.

It also got to see an example of poor sportsmanship when Lias Andersson, Sweden’s captain, threw his silver medal into the crowd.

Anyone who has ever competed for anything knows that “it’s not about winning, it’s about how you play the game” is a crock. And in a high-stakes game with the world watching, losing is going to be a traumatic event.

In that context, the tears shed by some of the Swedish players are understandable, and we can also understand Andersson being overcome by emotion and frustration after his team failed to achieve their goals.

Despite their skill level, these are, after all, just teenagers. Teenagers who were under pressure to win practically since they strapped on their first pair of skates. But Andersson’s later comments that “This was kind of our last chance, so this sucks,” shows his medal toss was as much the result of attitude as frustration.

For those who are mentally agreeing with Andersson and thinking “second place is just the first loser,” it’s not. Getting to second place at this level of hockey is still an incredible achievement, and one to be proud of.

Competing is about winning, but in the end, it’s about winning well. That means not only playing well and by the rules as you overcome your competition, but also being a good sportsman. Andersson’s actions and attitude robbed his team of some of their joy in getting the team to the gold medal round.

Throwing your medal into the crowd may not be on the same level of some historic sports tantrums — tennis star John McEnroe springs to mind — but it is still unsportsmanlike behaviour, something that a player of this level should be beyond, no matter his age.

Steve Kidd is senior reporter with the Penticton Western News

Just Posted

Tofino’s first Jazz Festival swings into town this weekend

“I wanted a night of music were you didn’t have to go through fences to access the music.”

UPDATE: Construction on Hwy. 4 halted after tree crashes into traffic

Trees are being cleared along the highway between Port Alberni and the Tofino-Ucluelet junction.

GoFundMe page launched for families of three missing Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation fishermen

Men have been missing since their vessel capsized near Tofino on June 15.

115 new wildfires burning across B.C. due to 19,000 lightning strikes

More fires expected to start today, says BC Wildfire Service officials

Marijuana to be legal in Canada Oct. 17: Trudeau

Prime Minister made the announcement during question period in the House of Commons

B.C. BMX kid wows GoPro with homemade video

Eight-year-old Rex Johnson wins award for inventive video

Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna suspended for 75 games

23-year-old pitcher faces assault charge

Vancouver Canucks tab Quinn Hughes with No. 7 overall pick in NHL draft

University of Michigan standout was second defenceman picked in first round

Gun, drugs and cash seized in arrest of alleged B.C. fentanyl dealer

Vancouver Island man Brent Connors is facing nine charges in relation to investigation

Jogger spent two weeks in U.S. detention centre after accidentally crossing B.C. border

Cedella Roman, 19, crossed the border while out for a run

PHOTOS: Police rescue baby seal found on rocky B.C. shoreline

Marina Mammal Rescue Centre recommends residents observe from a distance

B.C. woman with severely disabled son keeps getting parking tickets

‘There has to be something they could do’

Man brandishes axe during robbery

Mounties were able to locate the suspect within two hours of the incident

‘Creep off’ reporting system aims to track street harassment in Metro Vancouver

Text-based hotline launches to collect public reports on where and when harassment occurs

Most Read