Sweden’s curling star back in the game

  • Sweden's Anette Norberg returns to the ice Photo © WCF / Richard Gray

The return of the World Senior Championships to Sweden has also brought back to the ice Anette Norberg, arguably one of the most successful curling players and female skips in the sport’s history.

Anette has won two Olympic gold medals, three World Championships, and seven European Championships. She formally announced her retirement in 2014.

“I actually thought that I would enjoy doing other things than playing curling, so I tried that. But I just couldn’t find anything as fun. I have been doing a few tournaments on the tour this year. So I haven’t really thought about this as me coming back,” she says.

She started curling at the age of 10, and has been playing for over 40 years. “For me the favourite thing about competing has been the journey, the journey in the game, with others to try to go from point A to point B. I also like the team part of this game because you’re doing it together with other people and you have to learn to know them and get the maximum out of the players you have on your team,” she says.

Her team for the Seniors has her as the skip, Helena Lingham (Third), Anna Klange (Second), and Anna Rindeskog (Lead).

“We haven’t been playing together for longer than two tournaments. And they’re younger players who use new techniques. I’m really kind of old-school. So it is a little difficult for me to adjust,” says Anette.

Despite the need for adjustment, there is an air of camaraderie in the arena. “Of course, at the top level it was more competitive than it is here. You were more focussed and here the social part of the event is a bigger part. It’s still fun and I love it! And it’s at this level too. You still have to know how to help each other and know what to say and what to do, to make you feel comfortable and able to do your best, even though now you’re on a different level now.”

The team is also being coached by her daughter, Therese Westman. “It’s good for her to do this so she can learn what she may want from her coaches in the future,” says Anette. “I don’t really think it’s my thing though. I want to help the younger players, but I don’t see myself ever sitting on the coaching bench,” she adds.

Speaking of the younger players, there have definitely been improvements on how the teams play over the years. “The ice conditions are a lot better today, and the stones are giving a lot more curl too. There is more technique needed for that,” says Anette.

“I think the younger players are really good, I would say that the men’s side is playing really well. They are sweeping so well. On the women’s side, I could see where more improvements could be made,” she adds.

For most, it is the desire to win that drives them to sport, but for Anette Norberg, it is simply the undying love for it.

Written by Sports Media Trainee, Dakshiani Palicha

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