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AC Milan’s Stine Hovland on the end of Italy’s lockdown: ‘It’s a very good feeling’

Happy, happy, joy, joy

Smiling Scandinavian
© Ettore Griffoni |

AC Milan defender, Stine Hovland, recently conducted an interview with the Norwegian site, Afterposten.

During the interview, she discussed what she had been doing to occupy herself during Italy’s nine-week lockdown.

More importantly, she expressed her relief over the lockdown coming to an end.

Special thanks to Arne Huse for once again, translating this for me.

Stine Hovland has been ‘contained’ for two months. On Monday, May 4th, she could finally go outside and move around freely: Euphoria.

AC Milan player, Stine Hovland (29), has experienced two months of curfew in Italy. On Monday, May 4th, the Norwegian player was finally allowed to go outside and move around freely.

– “It was a very good feeling. It sounds kind of strange, but I haven’t slept much tonight. I felt euphoric,” Stine Hovland says.

The 29-year-old Norwegian plays for AC Milan, one of the biggest teams in the world. For nearly two months, she has been confined to her flat in Milan.

[During the lockdown] she was only allowed to go to the grocery store and to the pharmacy. On Monday, she was finally allowed to walk in the streets again, after the country decided to gradually reopen.

– “I have learned a lot about myself. The days have been long, and it is hard to stay inside when you are an active person. It has never felt better to go [outside] for a run. I will never again, take the ability to exercise outdoors for granted.”

She has not seen her family for four months.

It is estimated that there are nearly 30,000 deaths attributed to the coronavirus in Italy. Furthermore, more than 200,000 people have been infected by the virus.

[Update: As of May 11th, the total is now 30,739 deaths]

The number of registered, daily infections has declined significantly in the past few days. On May 2nd, Italy had experienced the lowest number of registered infections (174) since March 9th (97), according to Worldometers.

Now, Hovland notices that the smiles have returned to people’s faces.

– “Most [people] are happy to finally go outside and see how things are improving in Italy. Earlier, when we were standing in line at the grocery stores [during the lockdown], it was a totally quiet and serious atmosphere.”

– “Still, we must be careful not to jump off the deep end. But they [the Italian government] are starting to get more control over the situation,” she points out.

[What she means by this is that the Italian government is learning how to manage the COVID-19 crisis and is handling it much better than they did before]

The former Sandviken player still misses her family, who are back home at Vadheim. More than four months have passed since she last saw them.

– “Of course, it’s awful. At the same time, one has to admit that there was no possibility to go home [as flights to and from Italy were suspended]. I have not seen them since January 1st,” she says.

Got a new roommate

Hovland has, however, not been completely by herself. During the coronavirus crisis, her Icelandic teammate, Berglind Björg Thorvaldsdóttir, moved into her flat. She has been a ‘lifesaver’, the player says.

– “It has really helped. We have moved each other in a positive direction. We have laughed together and made everyday life better for each other. We have built a very lovely friendship,” she says.

The Little Things That Help

The things that have been getting her through the long days indoors are Netflix, surfing on the internet, and Facebook games. She also tells us that she has used a lot of this time to look out her window.

– “We have tried to train [on our own], but with varying degrees of success. The club has given us a message that says we are going to train [together] soon, but then a new setback has occurred*. It has drained my motivation,” Hovland says.

The Milan player still does not know when the team will resume training.

*(Hovland could possibly be referring to the fact that the Serie A Femminile players won’t know if they’ll resume play until May 25th. And that they won’t start training until June.)

A few days after this interview was posted, it was announced that Berglind Björg Thorvaldsdóttir would return home to Iceland.

After spending time with Stine Hovland, we hope that she’ll consider coming back to Milan in the future.

Serie A Femminile is currently suspended due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. On May 25th, there will be a meeting to determine whether the league will resume.

If it does resume, then the teams will not start training until June.

And if it recommences, then Milan will have to resume it without Thorvaldsdóttir. They will still, thankfully, at least have Hovland to marshal their backline.