Prior to Brynäs’s preseason game against Djurgården on Thursday, Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom took to his hometown ice and was given an Olympic silver medal. Federal Chairman Christer Englund gave Backstrom the award while flanked by national team coach Per Mårts by his side. The crowd gave Nicky a standing ovation.
Nearly six months to the day, Backstrom finally felt “vindication” after getting banned from the gold medal game for taking too much allergy medicine.
After the ceremony, Backstrom spoke to Swedish outlets about how happy he was that this drama is finally over.
The wonderful Matilda Wrigsjö has your translation.
Speaking to arbetarbladet.se, Backstrom revealed he planned on sleeping with his medal on.
What do you feel regarding this ceremony?
Nicklas Backstrom: It feels good. I have looked forward to this day since I found out. It is like a small vindication, proof that I did not intentionally do anything wrong.
And you received the medal in Gävle [Backstrom’s hometown]?
NB: That feels really good as well, that the union wanted to do so. It’s something I’m happy about.
What will you do with the silver medal?
NB: I’m sleeping with it tonight, that I’ll do. In retrospect, I feel like I appreciate it more now than what I would have done with it right after the final. Then you are so disappointed that it’s hard to be happy about the silver. Now I see it in a different way. It is still not too many people that have an Olympic silver.
Can you drop this whole drama now?
NB: Actually, I dropped it when I was told of the IOC’s decision. The only thing I can think a bit about still is how the matter was handled, that it took so long before they came to a decision. There were a lot of unfortunate circumstances. But it is what it is.
During the summer, for the first time you wholeheartedly exercised with Crossfit, a sort of circuit training with high intensity.
NB: I wanted to try something new and I am very satisfied. I have been doing it at Alderholmen and it feels really good. It is a tough workout, I have had the taste of blood in my mouth. It will be exciting to see what it has provided [for my body] when the season kicks off.
Regarding on ice practices, you have participated in a few with Oppala/Sätra in Gavlenrinken’s B-hall, with big brother Khristopher as a coach.
NB: He is some kind of player-coach there right now, until they find someone else. It is good to work out with a team, it gives more than working out alone.
With half a year of distance how do you look at the incident?
Nicklas Backstrom: I am not the only person to dwell on things. Thus, it pained me a little bit for a few weeks but then I dropped it from my mind pretty quickly. It could not be undone, it was what it was and I just had to look forward.
Do you feel like you could have done something different?
NB: The only thing I feel right now that I could have done was not taking that pill.
What was it like the weeks after the Olympic Final? There must have been a tremendous amount of pressure on you?
NB: Yeah there was, but at the same time: this is how it works in today’s society. I could not have done anything different, I was honest from the beginning. Then people twist and turn, you are strange for what you do and what you say.
Did you feel unfairly treated?
NB: No, it was me who had been tested positive. There is nothing strange about that.
How has the contact been with Per Mårts?
NB: No problem at all. We have spoken and there’s nothing weird to it.
Have you also spoken with the team doctor Björn Waldebäck?
NB: Yeah, I spoke with him a little afterwards. It is unfortunate what happened and the truth has been told. Personally I think Björn is a nice and good guy. Absolutely no hard feelings from my side.