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

Esquimalt man faces four charges of sexual assault, investigators suspect more victims

71-year old Kit Wong practiced acupuncture from his home during the time of the assaults

Heat and smoke raises health risks

Rick Stiebel - Sooke News Mirror Health risks arising from heat and… Continue reading

Victoria Lavender owner set to retire

Sidney storefront to remain open, future of goat yoga undecided

Pet-A-Palooza a good reason to ‘pawse’ this weekend in Victoria

Puppies, goats, wiener dog races and more on the grounds of St. Ann’s Academy Aug. 18-19

B.C. declares state of emergency as more than 560 wildfires rage

This is only the fourth state of emergency ever issued during a fire season

Interim GoFundMe payments approved in Humboldt Broncos crash

$50,000 to be given to each of the 13 survivors and each family of the 16 people who died

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Aug. 14

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Altidore nets 3 as Toronto drubs Whitecaps 5-2

Vancouver falls 7-4 on aggregate in Canadian Championship final

Ottawa intervenes to get B.C. ball player, 13, to Little League World Series

Before immigration issue was resolved, Dio Gama was out practicing the game he loves Wednesday

Pet goldfish invades small B.C. lake

Pinecrest Lake is located between Whistler and Squamish

Mounties deployed to help B.C. communities affected by wildfires

RCMP officers heading to places particularly within central, northern and southern B.C.

Quebec sets aside $900 million for companies hurt by U.S. tariffs

Premier Philippe Couillard says his government will make $863 million available over five years