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Paralympics in Pyeongchang: One of the Boys – Sports

Saturday, March 10th, 2018 | bitcoin updates

When Lena Schröder moves on the ice, she has exactly one goal: to give the opponent powerful pressure. So she tries to be faster than the others, sitting down in her sled, with the spikes on her ice hockey sticks quickly pushes forward, chasing after the puck, then shoot him with all his strength towards the goal. Under her helmet, she has stowed her long blond hair, her shoulders seem as wide in the gap as her teammates. Lena Schröder is the only female player in the Norwegian national team. And she is the only ice hockey player in the Paralympics ever. "I'm just one of the guys," says Schröder. This Saturday she sits on the upper ranks at the Gangneung Hockey Center in South Korea just before the kick-off of their team's first game against Italy. In the Norwegian sweater, which emphasizes her strong arms. Lena Schröder was born with spina bifida, a vertebral cleft. Since he is not particularly pronounced, she can easily bend her legs and put her feet on the white iron bars on the stands. It looks relaxed – of course, Italy is not a simple opponent, "but we are better" – That this will not be confirmed this Saturday and Italy after the 2-2 finally in penalty shoot-out the puck once less offensive and win 3: 2 , she does not know yet.Lena Schröder is the only female player in the Norwegian national team.Photo: Thilo Rückeis It's her first Paralympic Winter Games. Norway has made use of the possibility to take a woman into the squad. Normally a team consists of 15 men and two goalkeepers, but up to 18 may be nominated if at least one woman is present. Thus, the participation of women players to be promoted – because there is no own hockey team of women. As the only woman so far Brit Mjaasund Öjen was also with the Norwegian men's team in 1994 in Lillehammer at Paralympics here.

"We as a team do not distinguish between women and men" This Saturday, the 24-year-old medical student Schröder does not play. She also did not expect to be set up, she says, because the best have to play in this match. She knows that she can never do that in a team where only men play. But she is not on a free ticket. She can handle it. Coach Espen Hedge gave the motto that there are no extra rules. She has to work as one of the guys. And she does. Participating in the Paralympics is Lena Schröder's dream, since she started 15 years in the Norwegian Moss with the Para ice hockey. Meanwhile, she plays in the Oslo Valerenga Club, together with Morten Vaernes, national player and partner. She also plays with women in a European team. But too few countries have their own women's national teams to become Paralympic. Although only five to five are on the ice in para hockey, the squad 15 "men" must be strong. The first call to the national team she got in 2014 for a series of friendly matches. Back in Gangneung. Four minutes before the end of the third period, Italy are 2-1 up. Lena Schröder nervously fidgets in her chair. Then the temporary redemption: Teammate Bakke Audun scores. She pulls her arms up, jumps up. After regular time, it is a draw. But Italy wins in the penalty shootout. Norway does not score the goal. They wanted to get this year actually bronze. Whether they can do that, but is questionable. On Monday, Canada is on the plan – against the defending champions, the Norwegians have not won in years. In a defeat they will not come to the semi-finals, only fifth place would be in it. "I hope that the coach sets me up on Monday," says Schröder, fighting. Since they have never been able to win against Canada without Schröder, the coach could do just that. In the mixed zone after the game, international player Morten Vaernes, who scored the first goal for Norway, is disappointed: "We have lost now and it will probably cost us the chance to reach the semi-finals," he said. Is it an important sign that Schröder is on the team as a woman? "We as a team do not differentiate between women and men. She is a good player and good comrade. Not anymore. "And his girlfriend for five years, of course.


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