Peter Forsberg Reportedly Says Sweden Tanked ’06 Olympics Game Before Winning Gold Medal
Hockey star Peter Forsberg reportedly says that his Swedish team tanked a game at the 2006 Winter Olympics before going on to win the gold medal.
In a documentary set to air on Swedish TV, the former Avalanche star reportedly says his team took it easy in their pool play game against Slovakia to set up an easier path to the gold medal game.
A translation of the Swedish article says the players went against their coach’s wishes by not trying as hard against Slovakia and lost 3-0.
By losing the game, the Swedes avoided a quarterfinal or semifinal match against Canada or Russia — two teams they deemed to be tough competition. Instead, they faced Switzerland in the quarterfinals and won 6-2. Canada and Russia faced each other in the other half of the draw, with the Russians winning the quarterfinal game 2-0.
Slovakia was knocked out in the quarters by the Czech Republic, whom Sweden beat 7-3 in the semifinals. The Swedes then beat Finland 3-2 for the gold medal.
Canucks star Henrik Sedin, who was a member of the gold medal team, denies there was talk of tanking before the game. He says it may have come up during the game.
“It wasn’t on our radar to go out and lose, no, no,” Henrik insisted. “I don’t think we thought about that before the game. Maybe when there were a few minutes left in the game it came up but not during the game. Slovakia had a great team and, if you looked at how they played in the tournament, they could beat anyone. The result wasn’t a big upset for us, or anyone.
“You have to remember, too, that we were already in the quarter-finals,” added Henrik. “It wasn’t a big game for us, so to speak. So that might have been part of it.”
The Swedish article says Forsberg believes his team was just taking advantage of the system. If that’s how Forsberg felt, he wouldn’t be the first person to encourage tanking to help his team. Plus, Sweden still had to win three straight games to win the gold medal like any other team, and they did. They earned the gold medal no matter how you look at it.
Note: This also appeared on Medal Detector