On Thursday Germany’s Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier honoured the players of the German Olympic men’s ice hockey team that surprisingly won silver in PyeongChang 2018.
The players were awarded with the Silver Laurel Leaf, the highest sport award in Germany since being introduced in 1950 and seldom has it gone to ice hockey players until now. The players are in a good society with German sport legends such as Franz Beckenbauer, Steffi Graf, Dirk Nowitzki, Michael Schumacher or the various football world champion teams.
Beside the ice hockey team 34 other athletes who succeeded at the Olympics got the Silver Laurel Leaf at the ceremony at the Bellevue Castle in Berlin.
“It was a huge honour and an extraordinary experience to be able to meet Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier at the atmosphere of the Bellevue Castle in Berlin. In such a moment the memories of the Olympic Games and of our historic success come back. For all of us the day was a unique experience in our lives,” said Marcel Goc, who captained the team and has retired as a player in the meantime.
The German Olympic team surprised in Korea by beating Switzerland, Sweden and Canada in the playoffs of the Olympic men’s ice hockey tournament to reach the gold medal game where the Germans were close to beating the Olympic Athletes of Russia before eventually losing 4-3 in overtime.
“What our silver heroes achieved at the Olympic Winter Games is just phenomenal and indescribable,” said German Ice Hockey Association President Franz Reindl, who was on the last team that won Olympic silver back in 1976. “The honouring with the Silver Laurel Leaf is the coronation of the numerous Olympic moments that are still moving for us. I’m happy and very proud that our silver heroes for their great commitment and for their new chapter of German ice hockey history were able to accept this great award.”