You never really win a silver medal in hockey. You lose the gold.
Sweden captain Lias Andersson, who had tears in his eyes after his team lost in dramatic fashion to Canada in the final of the world juniors Friday night, wanted nothing to do with the silver medal that was draped around his neck so he tossed it into the stands.
It wasn’t immediately clear why Andersson gently lobbed his medal over the glass and into the hands of a man wearing a Rochester Americans sweater—the man removed the Americans jersey moments later to reveal he was wearing a Sweden jersey underneath—but the 19-year-old forward confirmed to media post-game that he threw it away because he simply didn’t want to keep it.
“That guy in the stands wanted it more than me,” Andersson said.
The 2017 seventh-overall pick of the New York Rangers went on to explain that he won silver at the under-18 world championship in 2016 and his medal from that tournament just sits in a box and he never looks at it.
Andersson was criticized heavily on social media following the game but his frustration is shared by many Swedish players and fans. Sweden has gone 44-0 in the preliminary round of the WJC over the past 11 years yet has only managed to come away with gold once and that was back in 2012. They now have five silvers and one bronze during that stretch.