Slovakia Hockey Team Winning the Silver Medal

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Slovakia Hockey Team Winning the Silver Medal

 

Slovak Hockey Players

Slovak Hockey

 

Allan Stevo
http://www.52insk.com/2012/may-2012-hockey/

As I have long pointed out, Slovaks tend to be fond of their hockey. On Sunday May 20, 2012, Russia faced Slovakia in the world finals of hockey. Russia beat Slovakia 6-2. While Russians offered their world championship hockey team a bit of a weak welcome home, Slovaks offered their silver medal winning team a grand celebration.

In 2002, Slovakia won the gold and many Slovaks proudly mentioned that fact for seven or eight years. In 2012, they have won the silver. I think visitors to this land will be hearing about that victory for at least a few years to come – unless, of course, next year’s team outdoes this year’s team.

Below are a few photos of memorable moments from this year and some photos of Slovaks watching and celebrating hockey. I think these photos are likely enough to demonstrate the deep appreciation for hockey felt by many in this country.

Early in the Tournament – Slovakia Had Some Success

USA v Slovakia 7 May 2012. | Photo: Facebook Group RIP Pavol Demitra

Czech Republic v. Slovakia – May 19, 2012

19 May 2012 view of a crowd watching the Slovakia v. Czech Republic hockey match televised for viewers gathering in this square in Prague, Czech Republic| Photo: Facebook Group RIP Pavol Demitra

19 May 2012 – Cadca, Slovakia – viewers gather to watch Slovakia play the Czech Republic. | Photo: Facebook Group RIP Pavol Demitra

19 May 2012 – Bratislava, Slovakia – viewers gather to watch Slovakia play the Czech Republic. | Photo: Facebook Group RIP Pavol Demitra

19 May 2012 – Kosice, Slovakia – viewers gather to watch Slovakia play the Czech Republic. | Photo: Facebook Group RIP Pavol Demitra

19 May 2012 – Prievidza, Slovakia – viewers gather to watch Slovakia play the Czech Republic. | Photo: Facebook Group RIP Pavol Demitra

19 May 2012 – Zilina – viewers gather to watch Slovakia play the Czech Republic. | Photo: Facebook Group RIP Pavol Demitra

19 May 2012 – Zvolen – viewers gather to watch Slovakia play the Czech Republic. | Photo: Facebook Group RIP Pavol Demitra

19 May 2012 Presov – viewers gather to watch Slovakia play the Czech Republic. | Photo: Facebook Group RIP Pavol Demitra

Russia v. Slovakia – May 20, 2112

May 20 2012 – Bratislava, Slovakia – viewers gather to watch Slovakia play the Russia in the gold medal game of the 2012 IIHF Ice Hockey Championship. | Photo: Facebook Group RIP Pavol Demitra

May 20 2012 – Kosice, Slovakia – viewers gather to watch Slovakia play the Russia in the gold medal game of the 2012 IIHF Ice Hockey Championship. | Photo: Facebook Group RIP Pavol Demitra

May 20 2012 – Zilina, Slovakia – viewers gather to watch Slovakia play the Russia in the gold medal game of the 2012 IIHF Ice Hockey Championship. | Photo: Facebook Group RIP Pavol Demitra

Winning the Silver in Ice Hockey at the 2012 IIHF World Championship

Slovak National Team Captain Zdeno Chara accepting the sliver. | Photo: Slovakia Little Big Country Facebook Page

Slovak National Team Captain Zdeno Chara accepting the sliver. | Photo: Facebook Group RIP Pavol Demitra

After the championship game against the Russians, several Slovak players put on backwards Pavol Demitra jerseys in memory of their late teammate who died September 7, 2011 in the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl Air Disaster along the rest of his KHL (Russian Hockey League) team. The KHL stands for Continental Hockey League. It is an expanding league that includes teams across the former Soviet Union and during the 2011-2012 season also had one team outside of the former USSR – in Poprad, Slovakia. | Photo: R.I.P. Pavol Demitra Facebook Group

The entire Slovak team after the Slovakia v. Russia match. | Photo: Hockejportal.sk

Celebration – Slovaks Welcome Their Team Home

Champagne on ice at the rally.

Slovak players in a modified bus on the way to the rally. | Photo: Forbes Slovensko FaceBook Page

Slovak hockey players on the way to a rally in a converted bus. | Photo: Ondrej Klokoc

Slovak hockey players arriving at the rally. | Photo: Ondrej Klokoc

At the rally, a photo of the crowd facing up SNP Square in Bratislava, Slovakia. | Photo: Jaroslav Michalco

At the rally, a photo of the crowd facing down SNP Square in Bratislava, Slovakia. | Photo: Jaroslav Michalco

Players on stage at the rally. | Photo: SITA

Champagne shower on stage. | Photo: Ondrej Klokoc

Champagne shower on stage. | Photo: Ondrej Klokoc

Spraying the crowd with champagne. | Photo: Ondrej Klokoc

Converted bus with players hanging out. | Photo: Slovensko zije hokejom Facebook Page

Converted bus with players hanging out. | Photo: Slovensko zije hokejom Facebook Page

Getting off the bus and going home. | Photo: Dusko Scibrany

Might you have any memorable photos or videos to share from the past few weeks? Please mention them in the comments section and link to them.

Allan Stevo writes on Slovak culture at www.52inSk.com. He is from Chicago and spends most of his time travelling Europe and writing. You can find more of his writing at www.AllanStevo.com. If you enjoyed this post, please use the buttons below to like it on Facebook or to share it with your friends by email. You can sign up for emails on Slovak culture from 52 Weeks in Slovakia by clicking here.

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