Beijing Olympics: Will China’s ice hockey team be dropped?

Beijing Olympics: Will China's ice hockey team be dropped?

ITwo years ago on an October evening in Slény, 25 kilometers northwest of Prague. Ice hockey is played in the Czech Third Division, an industrial park in the old hall, no delicacy. Not even 50 spectators came. The fists blow at the end of the second third, which happens from time to time in ice hockey. But this is different.

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Because the players of “China Golden Dragon” hit each other over the hat. This is already 1:10 from the point of view of the Chinese, who are allowed to play in the league as visiting teams. At the end it says 1:16. And a few months later the experiment is over again. The Golden Dragon leaves the Czech Republic. His record: 42 games, 42 losses, goal difference minus 330.

Sugar and ice hockey – they don’t really fit together. He joined the World Federation IIHF in 1963, but currently has only 537 active players among men. Canada has 76,899, and Canada has less than three percent of China’s population. Now the comparison between the homeland of the sport and the one whose national team scored only one victory in the D-World Cup in 2019 against amateur teams like Croatia, Australia or Belgium, cannot be entirely fair.

world union is concerned

The only problem is this: on February 13, 2022, they will play against each other at the Olympics in Beijing as the hosts automatically qualified. Experts expect something historic to happen, with China being the most obvious outsider in tournament history. Slovakia still holds the international record, was 82:0 against Bulgaria. In Beijing, Canadian NHL stars – if they wanted to – could probably score 100 goals. And even if it is “only” 15-0, as IIHF President Luke Tardiff recently suspected, it “would not be good for anyone, neither for China nor for ice hockey”. .

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