There is more to throwing a medal into the stands

The end of the holiday season also means the end of the World Junior Championships, and after what feels like an eternity - in reality it has only been since 2015 – Canada is back on top of the world junior hockey world.

But it was something that happened after the game that seemed to get all of the attention.

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After losing the world junior title Swedish captain Lias Andersson removed the medal from around his neck and tossed it into the crowd to a fan.

Naturally this caused a lot of reaction from around the hockey world, some positive, some negative.

A lot of the people who are in the hockey world chalked it up to a young kid making a mistake he should not have made.

But what I keep hearing from fans is that he was acting childish.

While I certainly agree that his actions were not the most sportsmanlike I disagree with the notion that he was being a poor sport.

We have to remember that this is a freshly turned 19-year-old.

How many 19-year-olds do you know act responsibly all of the time?

We seem to get caught up in the bluster that is a young celebrity, but what we forget is that they are still kids.

All of us were teenagers at one point so we should all know what being a teenager is all about.

As a teenager myself I did not always have the best attitude, in fact there were a number of days that in hindsight, I was a rather difficult child to deal with.

Sorry mom and dad.

But it is true, teenagers are far from perfect and in a lot of ways still have a lot to learn.

For some strange reason though, as soon as children become celebrities of some kind they are held to a different standard.

Whether children are actors, singers, athletes, or any other kind of celebrity we expect them to act several years above their age.

Which for most teenagers is tough.

Based on my own experiences I can tell you there is a large gap in maturity levels between a 19-year-old male and a 22-year-old male.

So how can we expect someone to act so far above their age level?

While I understand that a certain part of our expectations for those children is based upon public relations, either for themselves or for whatever their business is, whether it be a movie, or a play, or a team, it is still not right.

Yes, he acted out.

But the thing a lot of people seem to lose sight of is the fact that he is also showing passion.

How many people like losing?

I know “winning” a silver medal, or as some people like to call it “losing the gold medal”, is supposed to be a big deal, but for a lot of people, especially a teenager, in the heat of the moment the only thing you can think of is, I want the gold, not this.

So unfortunately for Andersson instead of simply removing the medal and giving it to the trainer to hold on to he tossed it to a fan.

Afterwards he explained his actions noting, that he had lost the U18 gold medal final a few years prior and had not looked at the medal one time since then.

He also noted that the fan seemed to want the medal more than he did so he wanted him to have it.

Maybe a little tongue-in-cheek but there is a couple of layers to unpeel from that onion.

What stood out to me was that he really did not want the silver medal.

And why should he?

He should want gold.

In the heat of the moment we should all be unhappy with losing.

Now Andersson never mentioned this but I think his medal toss served another purpose.

Andersson served as captain of the Swedes like I mentioned before, so his medal toss also could be viewed upon as a message sent.

The Swedes have not lost a round robin game at the world juniors since the Dec. 31, 2006, a span of 44 consecutive games, yet in that time they have just a single gold medal, five silver medals, one bronze, and four fourths.

That is unacceptable given the success they have enjoyed in the round robin.

Consider it a message sent to the Swedish hockey federation and to the players.

Finishing second is not good enough.

Is it right?

No, but it could have been a lot worse.

Kids will be kids.

A large portion of being a kid, and in fact life, is learning.

You make mistakes and you learn from it.

If Andersson was able to learn a thing or two then that is all we can ask for.

© Copyright Humboldt Journal

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