Sibling revelry: Denmark's eight ice hockey brothers and sisters make Olympic history

Four sets of ice hockey siblings step on the ice for Denmark at Beijing 2022 - a new Olympic record. And it could have been five!

4 min By Ken Browne
Mia Bau #50 and Josephine Asperup #19 of Team Denmark celebrate victory over of Team Czech Republic after the third period during the Women's Preliminary Round Group B match at Wukesong Sports Centre on February 07, 2022 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
(Picture by Getty Images 2022)

Denmark men's and women's ice hockey teams made history just by stepping on the ice at the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games.

Both teams are making their Olympic debuts, but they can also lay claim to a unique Olympic record with four sets of siblings across both sides.

For men's team forward Julian Jakobsen, he says watching his sister Josefine captain the women's team in Beijing has been brilliant.

"I saw the first match (against China on 4 February), but my parents told me that she played really well (against the Czech Republic on 7 February), spicing it up with a nice goal and an assist. It's great to see," he told Denmark's TV2.

Silke Glud's goal, from a Jakobsen assist, gave the Danes a historic 3-2 win over the Czechs.

As well as the Jakobsens, the other three siblings are:

Mia Bau Hansen and Mathias Hansen, Josephine and Matthias Asperup, and Emma and Patrick Russell.

It could have been five with Frederik Andersen unable to join sister Amalie in Beijing after NHL players were barred due to Covid concerns.

Even so, there a lot of proud mums and dads back in Denmark and Christine Russell, mother of Emma and Patrick, told the IIHF how excited she is to see her children at an Olympics.

“I’m extremely honoured. I was so happy,” Russell said after they both qualified.

“To be honest, a lot of Kleenex boxes have been used. I get emotional and I was just so happy for them. I know how much it means to them, how much they have put into it. I was just absolutely delighted.”

Denmark ice hockey team's history-making results at Beijing 2022

To see one ice hockey team qualify for a first ever Olympics in a country of six million people - where football and handball dominate the sporting scene - would have been amazing.

But for both the men and the women debut at the same Games? Remarkable.

And it's part of a trend in rising popularity of winter sports and winter Olympians as Denmark sent their largest team ever to Beijing with 62 athletes (29 women and 33 men) in five sports.

Now with the connections between the men's and women's ice hockey teams, they are supporting each other all the way.

"It's cool for them," said Patrick Russell after he watched his sister Emma record that historic win over the Czechs.

"They deserve it. They had a heavy fight against Japan (a 6-2 loss), so it was cool to see that they could come back and take this big win over the Czech Republic."

Emma Russell told the IIHF before Beijing that “our expectation is to do our absolute best and hopefully go to the quarter-finals."

“But do our best … it’s our first time at the Olympics and to be there is super cool and we want just to play some really good hockey.”

While the Danish women missed out on the quarter-finals, they can be proud of registering their nation's first ever Olympic ice hockey win in Beijing.

Now it's time to support their brothers in the men's competition.

Denmark women's ice hockey team results Beijing 2022

The Danish women played four games at Beijing 2022, winning one and losing three.

Denmark's Group B Results:

China 3 - 1 Denmark (4 February)

Japan 6 - 2 Denmark (5 February)

Denmark 3 - 2 Czech Republic (7 February)

Sweden 3 - 1 Denmark (8 February)

Brothers and sisters at the Olympics

So what's it like to share your Olympic experience with your sibling?

"It's special," Patrick Russell continues to TV2.

"We also FaceTime and have been walking around the city and have taken some pictures together. The Opening Ceremony was super fun.

"So these are definitely some memories that will stay with us for the rest of our lives."

Mathias Bau Hansen, brother of Mia Bau Hansen agrees:

"It is special to be together for the Olympics. It's fun, and she makes sure to get pictures taken in front of the different things. So it's a lot of fun."

Whatever happens, Denmark's men and women have inspired a new generation back home and broken the ice for future Danish ice hockey Olympians.

Danish men's hockey team schedule at the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games

Here's when Denmark men's ice hockey team play at Beijing 2022.

Group B ice hockey schedule

Czech Republic - Denmark
Wednesday 9 February 9:10pm (2:10pm in Denmark)

Denmark - ROC
Friday 11 February 12:10pm (5:10am in Denmark)

Switzerland - Denmark
Saturday 12 February 9:10pm (2:10pm in Denmark)

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