Swedish former curling star Anette Norberg is getting behind Sweden’s bid for the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games – and is looking forward to the prospect of seeing the event hosted in her country.
“I believe that this would give us something to rally around and look forward to. The Olympic Games are something that you have to long for.” she says.
“As an athlete, we often say that the journey is more important than the destination – and I think that’s the case with hosting an Olympic Games, too. Of course, the actual Games are an amazing way to end the journey, but they remain a small part of the larger whole.”
Norberg, who is a 2026 ambassador, has been a member of the Swedish Olympic Committee (SOC) board for four years, and has long been involved in the discussions around hosting an Olympic Games in Sweden.
“I really think this would be good for Sweden and for Swedish sport – and I’d be really disappointed if we don’t host the Games,” admitted Norberg. “I’m very excited about the future and the process of trying to win this bid.”
“I’m facing re-election now,” Norberg explains. “It’s great fun, we have a good board and good people. You have to work for the sport and give back a little.”
Norberg, who won two Olympic gold medals in an illustrious career which saw Sweden position itself firmly as a leading nation in curling, describes just what the Olympic Games mean to athletes.
“The Olympic Games have changed my life,” she admits. “It means an incredible amount to me on a personal level. I have many great memories from the Olympics over the years – of course my two golds are highlights!”
Sweden’s success in curling, from the teams featuring the likes of Peter “Peja” Lindholm and Anette Norberg, to Niklas Edin and Anna Hasselborg today, is all the more surprising considering it has relatively few athletes in the sport – so what’s the country’s secret?
“I think, among other things, we are good at training, we are highly competitive, and Swedes are generally good at team sports. There are few sports where the “team moment” is as crucial as in curling, and that is because we are only four and as such, extremely interdependent. Each member of the team takes responsibility and manages themselves, but at the same time we help and support each other.”
And though Norberg wouldn’t compete in 2026, she’s already eyeing the opportunity to be involved in the Games – and, of course, supporting a future star. “My plan is to be involved in some way,” she explains. “Hopefully I’ll have a daughter competing too, so I’ll follow her. I’ll be there with the Swedish curling team as their biggest fan!”