Why is Norway not a hockey power?
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02-17-2010, 02:52 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Originally Posted by
Out of curiosity, does anybody know why Norweigan hockey lags behind Sweden and Finland? The Norweigans have a pretty good reputation as winter athletes going by their Olympic history and are in a similar climate to their northern neighbours Finland and Sweden and I assume they have similar population numbers and lifestyles. That said, why are they such a non factor in the hockey world? It just seems kind of weird that hockey is popular in neighbouring countries and in Central Europe, but not in a place where you'd generally expect it to flourish. Any ideas or definitive answers on why Norway isn't good at hockey?
Great question, and one thats very hard to answear.
Like saying that they don't have enough rinks or that they like other sports better -- is kind of missing the point. They are all chain-reactions from not being good.
I think the reason goes back to the 30's-50's. Sports where very different. There were no organization compared to today et c. Many athlets competed in several sports, soccer summertime and hockey winter time, for example. During that time, Sweden threw together a team just like many other nations. But the team Sweden threw together was good! Like before some tournaments, they didn't even have sticks to practise with -- that shows you something about the state of the game. They practised without sticks, and before one tournamnet they didn't even have ice. Then just before the tournament a load arrived and they could play. Basically hitting the ice for the first time in a year when the tournament started. But the opposition wasn't much better, and they could win a couple of medals. Then in 53', when Canada boycotted the WCH's for political reasons, Sweden could win a gold. And it was a big deal in Sweden. It gave us a identity as a hockeynation.
That kind of planted a seed of love for the game in Sweden. Then in reality, Sweden was not a good hockey nation for 40 years basically. Especially during the 70's we were miles behind Canada and the Soviets. Miles behind. Our hockeyplayers had ordinary jobs, the Soviets and Canadians didn't. But somewhere in the back of our heads, we Swedes, had that seed that was planted in the 50's, a strim of recognition that we were a country to be counted on in the game of hockey. So in the late 70's, early 80's, there was a tremendous push in Sweden to catch up. And it worked.
In Norway, Germany, Great Britain among others, they didn't get that identity. But don't forget, those nations where basically on par with Sweden and co' back then, in the 20's-50's. But when hockey took off in the 70's-80's, they where hopelessly left behind. And its hard for them to catch up, because they are always chasing what we used to be, since we constantly are developing too. Like look at the Swiss, they have a damn good hockey team no doubt. We all agree that hockeyplayers now are better then 15-20 years ago. The Swiss are today basically on par with the US in general, while lacking the elite talent that the US have. So basically, while some might not buy it, I would like to state that this Swiss team probably could really challenge the top US, Swede or Finn team of like 92'. They aren't far behind in other words. But that 10-15 years is hard to catch up.
And the reason for Norway not having any rinks, or liking other sports better, thats of course because they are not good at hockey.
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