"We all thought we would be sitting at home watching that final on the couch at home, but here we are", Sturm said.
It won't count in the history books as a win for the official nation, but the Olympic Athletes of Russian Federation won the 2018 men's hockey tournament from PyeongChang, South Korea following a 4-3 victory over the underdogs from Germany. This is only the third Olympic medal in Germany's hockey history, adding silver to bronze won in 1976 at Innsbruck and 1932 at Lake Placid.
Team Russia won 13 gold at the Winter Games it hosted in Sochi in 2014, but later lost two for doping.
The women's silver is their nation's first curling medal.
Still, Germany's run to its first gold-medal game won't soon be forgotten.
That may be the most likely outcome given that the Russians are heavily favored to win the game. There weren't many answers for what happened to the team that looked dominant against Finland. That was because of a mix of retirements, doping bans and a vetting process which ruled out dozens of athletes including some gold-medal contenders because an International Olympic Committee commission said it couldn't be sure they weren't involved in past doping schemes. Hours before the opening ceremony, the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled in favor of the IOC. After two Russian athletes were disqualified due to doping midway through the Winter Olympics, the IOC upheld the ban.
The final came on the same day that it was confirmed that Russian athletes will not be allowed to march under their own flag at the Closing Ceremony of Pyeongchang 2018.
The out-of-competition focus overshadowed some surprising medal achievements.
Fasel claimed in December that Russia's negative reaction to the IOC's decision to force the country to compete neutrally was justified. That sent the teams to a high-stakes, sudden-death shootout, where the US came out on top, breaking Canada's 2002-2014 streak of four consecutive gold medals. That left the Russians unable to compete in relays in sports like biathlon and speedskating because it couldn't field enough athletes.
The country's flag will not be present at the Closing Ceremony but the ROC will have its suspension lifted as soon as it is confirmed that no additional positive cases are incurred by OAR at Pyeongchang 2018.
Defenceman Bogdan Kiselevich said players sang the Russian anthem as an expression of "freedom of speech".
At their medal ceremony, the players team sang the Russian anthem over the sound of the Olympic anthem at the Gangneung Hockey Centre despite being barred from having their flag raised or anthem played.
But as the Olympic flag rose and Olympic anthem played, Russian teammates linked arms and joined supporters in singing the Russian national anthem, their voices drowning out the recorded music in an emotional moment. "It was with heart and soul".
They took it upon themselves, however, to sing the national anthem in a move which broke the IOC's set of "conduct guidelines" for the OAR team published last month.