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Olympics 2022 | Ice hockey: Marco Sturm keeps his fingers crossed for the DEB team

Marco Sturm keeps his fingers crossed for the German ice hockey team from far away California. The silver coach from 2018 believes the team is capable of a coup again.

Marco Sturm has to get up early. Just as early as four years ago, the German ice hockey fans who wanted to see the Olympic finals of their silver heroes in South Korea. This time, the former national coach is a fan himself and will keep his fingers crossed in his adopted home of Los Angeles when the national team goes back to Beijing to hunt for medals.

It is 5:10 a.m. in California when the team of his successor Toni Söderholm begins their Olympic mission against Canada on Thursday.

“We certainly don’t need to hide,” says Sturm in an interview with the “Sport Information Service”, “maybe the Russians, I don’t know if Sweden or Finland – those are the only teams I’ve ever seen on the I see paper better than the German one. Everything is possible again.”

The 43-year-old sees the fact that there are still ten silver medalists from Pyeongchang as a great advantage. “They bring a certain calm when the game gets hectic,” says Sturm and names captain Moritz Müller or the then top scorer Patrick Hager, “these are exactly the right people who learned it back then and are now taking the lead themselves.” .

Positive memories of ice hockey fairy tale 2018

Sturm, now assistant coach at the NHL club Los Angeles Kings, is still in contact with the heroes of 2018, who brought ice hockey into the limelight in Germany. “It always brings back memories,” he says. About the 4: 3 in the semifinals against Canada, “after the game I sat alone in the dressing room, I was exhausted”. To the booth with the names of those who were missing on the wall, “I wanted the boys to be there too.”

Or to the special helpers Kim and Kim: the two Korean team supervisors Taeyun and Joshua Kim, who became lucky charms. “Before the round of 16 they were eating and drinking a lot, the next day they didn’t look so good,” remembers Sturm and laughs: “We won the game. Then they said: We have to do that again now, because it worked. That continued until the final.”

But not only their alcohol consumption proved to be a good omen, but also a special ritual before each game: “I wanted them to read out the starting lineup, in English and Korean.” The duo was “also part of our family” – and thus part of the recipe for success.

Sturm does not regret his departure in November 2018, “it was the perfect time”. What he has “taken with me in the NHL since then, I would never have achieved as a national coach”. He still has his sights set on a return: “I hope that I’ll be the national coach again at some point. I’m still young.”

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