Kim Martin backstopped the Swedish team who stunned the hockey world winning a silver medal against the US in the 2006 Olympics and named the best goaltender. Martin made the national team when she was 15 years old. She missed most of the second half of her 2008-09 season at University of Minnesota Duluth with pain from ongoing knee problems.
She had knee surgery in 2009 (after injuries in 2003 and 2006 in her right knee), didn’t play for 8 months. After extensive physiotherapy, in November, 2009, the Four Nations Cup in Finland, marked her return to full time play for Team Sweden. Her father and brother are goaltenders. “I loved playing and practiced with them all the time” says Martin “When I started in hockey my first choice was a boy’s team because they are always better and faster.” Her brother Kristoffer, a former professional goalie in Europe, is her goaltending coach.
Her thoughts on 2006 Olympics and playing in USA in an interview with Elizabeth Etue
Q. What happened after to silver medal win at 2006 Olympics? Reaction from media, fans and Swedish ice hockey?
A.It was so huge, everyone was crazy. I don’t think we could imagine how it could happen. We read all the newspapers. Everyone called and said things were crazy back home; more girls wanted to play. All club teams got more money and better ice time. It was a fun game. We waited for that game for a long time. Miracle on ice a lot of times. It is good movie. Why it is so fun to see a team work so hard and finally get something for it.
Q. How would you describe your style of play?
A.I am both stand up and butterfly. Flexible and fast on the ice.
Q. Why did you chose hockey to play?
A. You have to focus all time, fast sport, you are involved all the time. Fun. I like it because I have been good and everything has come my way, it is more fun to play when that happens. I started at 9 years.
A. How was the adjustment to US college life?
A. Adjusting to life in Duluth... The hardest thing was the food. It is different from back home. It is getting better, I am finding new products.
Q. Why University of Minnesota Duluth?
A. Very good coaches, always a good team, I like the school. I looked at other schools, yes.
The coaches in Duluth know a lot of stuff, look at a players and figure out the best lines. They help each other in different things. You have so much respect for coaches. Also other Swedish players came to Duluth. which influenced my decision. They told me good stuff about this school and other schools.
Q. How is it different from Swedish national team?
A. It is more serious here. Back home there are both good and bad players and it is so much fun here because every player is good, teams are good. There are more people watching the games. Teams have more money so it is better. I am on a full scholarship.
Q. What is Walthers Gymnasium where you graduated in 2005.
A. Walthers is a high school. We don’t have the same grades as North America. We don’t have 10,11 o12.; there 9 grades then high school for 3 years. It is a sports school. We play hockey in school. We don’t have a team, just practice.