ZOH 2022 | From frustration in isolation to the golden dot. When the darkest scenario turns into a dream come true

Beijing (from our newsletter) – The tournament has not yet started and the coach of Finnish hockey players Jukka Jalonen is already furious that the organizers of the games are violating Anttil’s human rights by unjustifiably keeping him at the hotel.

The 36-year-old winger passed the covid two weeks before leaving for Beijing and subsequently had a series of negative tests. But in the Chinese capital, he was positive, and although he showed no symptoms and was infectious, he wandered into hotel isolation.

This meant no training with the team, and most importantly uncertain prospects for when and if he would be re-able at all. In the end, it happened after six days and Anttila lost only the match with the Slovaks.

Foto: Brian Snyder, Reuters

Finnish Olympic joy. Hockey players Suomi Valtteri Filppula, Mikko Lehtonen, Marko Anttila and Valtteri Kemilainen with gold medals for the winners from Beijing.Photo: Brian Snyder, Reuters

“During that time, I had a lot of time to think and it was not easy. But mostly boring and frustrating, because I really wanted to play hockey and enjoy it, “said Anttila, who takes Suomi silver from Riga 2021 and gold from Bratislava 2019, where he shone with four goals in three playoff duels, including two goals in the final against Canada (3: 1).

In Beijing, he decorated his return to the team with a goal against Latvia, and also scored in the quarterfinals against Switzerland. And in the final against the Russian Olympic team, he then assisted in the winning shot by Björninen.

“My dream suddenly came true and I have gold. I wanted to prove that I can still play at the highest level and be an important player, even though I was out for six days. It’s a fact that on the one hand it gave me a lot of energy, “said Anttila.

Foto: Brian Snyder, Reuters

Finnish hockey players celebrate winning Olympic gold.Photo: Brian Snyder, Reuters

“He has scored a lot of important goals lately. He is a great leader of the team and each of us follows him, “said defender Sami Vatanen.

The Finnish hockey players thus received their first Olympic gold exactly 70 years after their first start under the five rounds at the Oslo Games. Thanks to Anttil, whose national team career seemed to be over five years ago.

“What will the gold celebrations be like? Hard to say, we haven’t experienced what it’s like to win the Olympics. But it will be fun. “Hopefully for a few days,” Anttila chuckled.

Read more:  Czechia - Switzerland 2:4, the Czech hockey team lost to Switzerland in the general round at the World Cup

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