Denmark’s Olympic hockey teams make sibling history

Josefine Jakobsen #63 of Team Denmark warms up prior to the Women's Ice Hockey Preliminary tournament.
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While many women’s hockey fans understandably vent in frustration at repeated references to their favorite player’s brother or father, for Denmark’s men’s and women’s teams, four sibling connections made Olympic history.

Across Denmark’s women’s and men’s hockey teams – both of which made their Winter Games debut– the squads boast four pairs of siblings, collectively. The rosters feature four sister-brother combos, marking the record for most sets of unrelated siblings competing in the same team sport at the same Olympics, according to Olympic historian Bill Mallon.

“Super exciting to go to the Olympics and get this experience together,” Josefine Jakobsen, Denmark’s women’s team captain, said ahead of the Games. The 30-year-old is with her older brother, forward Julian Jakobsen, 34.

Also making the Olympics a family affair are forwards Josephine Asperup, 29, and Matthias Martini Asperup, 26; forwards Emma and Patrick Russell, 26 and 29, respectively; and 26-year-old Mia Bau Hansen and 28-year-old Mathias Hansen, also both forwards.

“We played a lot of street hockey together when we were kids, and [Julian] made me be a goalkeeper quite a lot,” recalls Jakobsen, who now plays as a forward. “I don’t remember that we had any big fights, but we were always competing and playing tough. Both of us wanted to win.”

Denmark’s men’s team punched its ticket by beating Norway in a final Olympic qualification tournament last August, while the women earned their spot with a dramatic shootout victory over Germany at their qualifier in November. Denmark joined the International Hockey Federation in 1946, but they didn’t qualify for the Olympics until 2021 – 75 years later.

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The women didn’t have an easy time of it, where they fell 3-1 to China in their opener followed by a 6-2 loss to Japan. They lost 3-2 to the Czech Republic women, also making their tournament debut, and finished with a 3-1 loss to Sweden. The men opened with a 2-1 win over Czech Republic and followed with an 0-2 loss to Russian Olympic Committee. They face Switzerland on Saturday.

Malene Frandsen, who does not have a sibling at the Olympics, scored the first Olympic goal for Denmark in their matchup vs. China, but took little satisfaction from it afterward.

“It’s always nice to score when things are at stake – that it wasn’t enough today is a shame,” said Frandsen, 26.

“I wish we stood up a little better,” said Jakobsen following the loss to Japan. “It’s the biggest scene in women’s hockey, all teams are good, and we’re learning all the time. This was definitely a learning experience.”

While Denmark’s men have achieved top-tier status in world championship competitions over the last two decades, the women’s team have played in just one top-tier worlds since 1992 when they finished last in the 2021 IIHF Women’s World Championship in Calgary, Canada, and were relegated from the top division.

Jakobsen hopes this year’s breakthrough Olympics appearance will encourage more women’s hockey participation in Denmark.

“We want to show young girls at home that it is possible,” she said. “The men’s side has grown incredibly the past few years. We hope that we can make a similar journey now that we’ve qualified for the Olympics, which is huge.”

How to watch ice hockey at the 2022 Winter Olympics

For viewers in the United States, you have some options:

  • Peacock will be the streaming home of the 2022 Winter Olympics. Live streaming coverage and full replays of every event will be available on Peacock’s premium tier. Click here to watch.
  • You can also stream events via NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app.
  • Games will also air on NBC, USA Network, and CNBC. Preliminary TV listings can be found here and the most up-to-date schedule with TV and streaming info can be found here.

2022 Winter Olympics: Women’s Hockey Quarterfinal Schedule

Women’s Hockey Game/ Result Date/Start Time (U.S. Eastern Time) Date/Start Time (Beijing, China) How to Watch
Quarterfinal #1: USA 4, CZE 1 2/11/22 USA Network | Peacock | NBCOlympics.com
Quarterfinal #2: CAN 11, SWE 0 2/11/22 USA Network | Peacock | NBCOlympics.com
Quarterfinal #3: ROC vs. SUI 2/11/22 11:10 PM 2/12/22 12:10 PM Peacock | NBCOlympics.com
Quarterfinal #4: FIN vs. JPN 2/12/22 3:40 AM 2/12/22 4:40 PM Peacock | NBCOlympics.com

2022 Winter Olympics: Women’s Hockey Medal-Round Schedule

Women’s Hockey Game / Result Date/Start Time (U.S. Eastern Time) Date/Start Time (Beijing, China)
Women’s Hockey – Semifinal #1 2/13/22 11:10 PM 2/14/22 12:10 PM
Women’s Hockey – Semifinal #2 2/14/22 8:10 AM 2/14/22 9:10 PM
Women’s Hockey – Bronze Medal Game 2/16/22 6:30 AM 2/16/22 7:30 PM
Women’s Hockey – Gold Medal Game 2/16/22 11:10 PM 2/17/22 12:10 PM

On Her Turf editor Alex Azzi contributed to this report. 

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