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Hockey participant goes from isolation to gold

Hockey player goes from isolation to gold

Marko Anttila had time for a lot of ideas whereas in isolation on the Olympics.

“Can I play right here or not?” was one in all them.

The Finnish hockey veteran spent six days at an isolation lodge after testing optimistic for the coronavirus upon arrival in Beijing, questioning when he may resume his quest for gold.

Anttila returned for the second recreation of the event, scored twice, and took the shot that was redirected for the game-winning aim on Sunday as Finland beat the Russians 2-1 for his or her first Olympic ice hockey gold medal.

“I used to be pondering that we are able to win one thing right here and the way (would) it really feel after that to be remoted and win one thing,” Anttila mentioned. “The goal was to be right here and luxuriate in and have this dream come true.”

It got here true thanks largely to Anttila, a 36-year-old alternate captain on the Olympics who has worn the “C” for Finland on the previous two world championships and is a revered chief within the locker room.

Lengthy earlier than getting the first help on Hannes Bjorninen’s successful aim in opposition to the Russians, he scored in his first recreation again and once more within the quarterfinals.

“He is been scoring huge targets currently,” former NHL defenceman Sami Vatanen mentioned with the gold medal hanging round his neck. “It is unbelievable. He is a giant chief of this group, so everyone simply follows him and we received it achieved.”

Regardless of feeling no signs, Anttila couldn’t skate within the first few practices on the Olympics due to COVID-19.

Serious about the potential for successful the event motivated him to do just a few additional exercises in his room whereas biding his time.

There was loads of time to kill, and the psychological anguish was worse than the bodily toll.

“I used to be simply lonely in a lodge room,” Anttila mentioned. “It wasn’t straightforward.”

He made it look straightforward getting again in enjoying situation.

Common supervisor Jere Lehtinen credit Anttila’s off-ice routine that has gotten extra rigorous with age.

“You need to try this even an increasing number of, and he is doing job for that and that is why he is enjoying at that stage,” Lehtinen mentioned. “(You did not) see any tiredness from him.”

However in fact, Anttila wasn’t drained. After six days of doing nothing, he had loads of pent-up power.

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