Here's my article about Cecilia Anderson, now silver medalist at the 2006 Olympic Games, as I wrote it before the games started. Then, click the link to see the published version (pun intended) ;) Although I bet no one got it :P
Lemme me know what you think about the changes. I mean, I over-wrote so it needed to be edited for length, which is fine. And there were a lot of dull quotes. But I feel like some substance and rhythm were lost. So I seek your opinion.
Stingers Goalie Goes for Gold
Women’s hockey star attributes success to Concordia
Cecilia Anderson. Does the name ring a bell?
You might have seen this Concordia student on CTV or Global practicing with the rest of the Stingers women’s hockey team. Why, you might ask, was Anderson getting national media coverage?
Here’s a hint. She plays on more than just one team.
Anderson joined Team Sweden in January for training in view of the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy. “Well I had to take this winter semester off, so that's a big change from what I'm used to,” said Anderson in an e-mail interview.
In fact, Team Sweden travelled to Italy two weeks ago, leaving plenty of time to get over jet lag, and just enough time for some extra training, sightseeing and an interview.
Anderson, who is in her third year in Leisure Sciences, is more than thrilled about this Olympic experience, since she is interested in studying Tourism.
“I’m really excited,” she said. “We are finally here, and I can’t wait for everything to start!”
With hockey on her mind since the age of seven, and three previous international experiences under her suspenders, including a bronze medal at last year’s World Championships, it’s no wonder Anderson is not nervous.
“I’m confident about me and my team. It’s a huge honour to represent my country in such a big event as this.”
A Sting-ing Passion
Anderson, whose childhood idol was fellow Swede and successful NHL goalie Tommy Salo, now tries to take the best out of everyone, including Stingers’ coach Les Lawton. She attributes much of her success and development as a player to Lawton and her time with Concordia.
“Making the Olympics without Les and Concordia would have been really hard for me,” she explains. “I have been practicing everyday with the women's team but this year I have also been practicing with the men's team at Concordia.”
The passion for the game is what keeps Anderson going, helping her juggle hockey and school.
“Other than [Concordia training], I have a work-out program with the national team, so I have been practicing two to three times daily,” stated Anderson.
“You have to manage your time very well,” she commented. “The biggest difference is that with the national team we always practice in the morning of a game, but at the same time all of our games are at night. With Concordia they are usually in the afternoon so we don't have time to practice.”
Despite her rigorous training program, Anderson has thoughts about life after the Olympics. “I’m going to visit my sister in Singapore.”
A winning team
But lets not get ahead of ourselves here! How was life before the Olympics?
“Well, it has not been easy this last year. [It’s] a big change from what I’m used to,” she added.
Anderson is up to the task and draws inspiration from those around her. “My dad has always said to me: You can’t expect people to believe in you if you don’t believe in yourself!”
Her friends were really happy for her when she made the team. “Everyone has been very supportive,” she said. “My current teammates and past teammates are really excited for me, they are a big part of this.”
“If they weren't shooting at me in practice and challenging me to be better, I wouldn't be here today.”
And practice she did, since Anderson believes players need ice time to develop. “I get more ice time at Concordia, so it has been really good for my development to play at Concordia with a lot of ice time and a lot of shots,” she explained. “With the National Team, I get to play with and against the best players in the world which is a big challenge.”
Another challenge, for athletes and for the rest of the population, is staying on top of things. “My family has been amazing. This past year, I have been very busy and they have made sure that I could focus only on practicing and staying healthy, and I didn't have to worry about anything else.”
What’s to come?
“I always say to myself: Don’t make things complicated that aren’t complicated!”
This motto has led Anderson throughout her career. Several Concordia moments make the Väddö native’s highlights reel, which is far from finished.
Her most memorable moment with Concordia was last year’s playoffs. “It was great to win, we worked really hard to get that Championship.”
“With Sweden,” said the rising star, “so far it is the Bronze medal last year at the Worlds, but after the Olympics, I think that might change.”
Cecilia Anderson has come a long way from filling the gap between the pipes when the two goalies on the boys’ team she was playing on were out sick. With a strong support system, a great home team, and excellent techniques, Anderson will fuel her passion with determination and ambition. Take her hopes for Team Sweden, for example.
“We are going for a medal,” she said. “But we have to take one game at a time. We start with Russia Feb 11th and after that we'll go from there.”