Swedish women rack up medals at Winter Games
For all the talk of the Swedish men's hockey team, the top seeded team in the 2018 Winter Olympic tournament, it was the Swedish women who pulled in the medals, winning five of the team’s seven golds. Sweden finished with its second-best total ever, racking up 14 medals — seven gold, six silvers and a bronze. Sweden won 15 medals at the Sochi Winter Games in 2014.
Charlotte Kalla was the top individual podium finisher, with one gold and three silver medals in cross-country skiing. Kalla took the very first gold medal awarded at the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang when she won the skiathlon, breaking away from the leading group on the last lap of the course to take victory with a lead of 7.8 seconds over second-place Marit Bjørgen of Norway. It made her the first Swedish woman to win three Winter Olympic golds, and tied her with canoer Agneta Andersson as the female Swede with most Olympic gold medals overall. It was also Kalla's sixth Olympic medal, equalling Anja Pärson's record for the most Winter Olympic medals among Swedish women.

Kalla went on to win silver in the 10 km freestyle individual start, the 4x5 km relay (together with Anna Haag, Ebba Andersson and Stina Nilsson) and the team sprint (with Nilsson). In addition to the two silvers, Nilsson also won a cross-country skiing gold as she took first place in the women’s sprint and won the team’s lone bronze medal with a third-place finish in the women’s 30 km classical race.


Biathlete Hanna Öberg was also a multiple medal winner. She took the gold in the women’s 15 km individual, as she racked up a perfect score in shooting, beating Anastassiya Kuzimina of Slovakia and German Laura Dahlmeier. She skied the anchor leg in the women’s 4x6 km relay in which Sweden finished second to Belarus.
Frida Hansdottir won the gold in the women’s slalom, beating back a late surge from Swiss skier and current World Cup leader Wendy Holdener. Andre Myhrer won the men’s slalom, grabbing the first gold for the Blågult male athletes.

Perhaps the biggest surprise came in the men’s biathlon when Sweden came from behind to beat Germany and Norway and snatch the gold. Fredrik Lindström emerged victorious from a frenetic battle on the final leg with Norway’s Emil Hegle Svendsen to take the gold medal in the 4x7.5 km relay. Lindström held his nerve as Svendsen struggled on the final shoot, skiing away to win by 56 seconds.

With the Swedish women’s team winning silver, coach Wolfgang Pichler was delighted with the performance of his biathletes at the Games.
"This is the best thing I have done as a coach, this is the highlight. If you win the men’s relay, the gold medal, it’s the best thing you can do as a coach," Pichler said.

Although the vaunted Swedish hockey team failed to advance out of the quarterfinals, losing 4-3 to Germany, Sweden’s curling teams both reached the finals, where the men fell to the U.S. in what American newspapers immediately dubbed the “Mira-curl on Ice,” while the women beat South Korea.

Skip Niklas Edin’s men’s team looked unstoppable as it roared through the preliminary round, dropping just two games. The Swedes beat the Americans 10-4 in the first round. In the final, however, the Americans rode a wave of momentum as they won five games in a row to reach the medal round. The Americans used a blockbuster eighth end to seize a 10-5 advantage that proved to be insurmountable. The two sides played perfunctorily from there, with the U.S. keeping the house clean of enough stones to be a threat. Sweden added two points in a quick ninth end to trail 10-7.

As the U.S. played defense and focused on preserving its lead, skip Edin took his last stone, whirled it around for a moment and gently flung it down the sheet of ice toward the other end, conceding defeat with grace.
In the women’s final, Sweden easily defeated host team South Korea to claim the gold. The top-ranked women’s curling team in the world, The Swedish rink – skip Anna Hasselborg, Sara McManus, Agnes Knochenhauer, Sofia Mabergs and Jennie Wåhlin (alternate) – grabbed the early lead, scoring two stones on the third end when ROK left their final shot short.
Using the hammer (final shot) on the seventh end, Swedish skip Hasselborg cleared the house of a ROK stone and left three of her own, increasing the lead to a near-impregnable 7-2.

The rink of the home nation fought hard and skip Kim Eun-jung used the hammer to claw back one shot on the eighth end, but Sweden used the same advantage in the ninth to take a stone and an 8-3 lead that prompted a concession from the ROK rink. That handed the gold medal to Sweden, while the ROK team won its first-ever Olympic medal, a silver.
Chipp Reid