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54938.  Thu Feb 23, 2006 3:10 pm Reply with quote

In addition to Denmark and Iceland, I find it curious that there a so few Polish athletes at these Olympics. Surrounding countries (Ukraine, Germany, Czech Republic etc) have plenty, so why not Poland?

54986.  Thu Feb 23, 2006 4:56 pm Reply with quote

Is'nt Poland relatively flat?

54990.  Thu Feb 23, 2006 5:05 pm Reply with quote

Now there's a question. When I was a kid I used to ask my dad why Canada was good at the Winter Olympics but Poland wasn't, and he never had much of an answer.

To "dispose" of Germany first. German Winter Olympians tend to be a) skiers from Bavaria and b) skaters from the north west. Both of these activities are fairly localised, and they prosper where they do for the same reasons that the Austrians ski and the Dutch skate. Similarly, Italy's skiers and sledgers tend to come from Alto Adige / Südtirol, a mainly German speaking area in the far north of Italy.

The Czech Republic is practically Alpine in the west, and it is from here that skiers tend to come. But the Czechs' main claim to winter sports fame is hockey, a game the Poles certainly play, but not with the fervor that the Czechs do. Polish speed skaters have been reasonably successful in the past though.

Ukraine is inland and has mountains, so its climate is more suited to skiing and stuff - Poland is mostly quite flat.

And then there's football. Soon after WWII, the Poles realised that football was the one thing they had much chance of beating the Russians at, so they concentrated their efforts on that.

Or maybe I'm just making excuses, and it's just that the Poles aren't all that good at winter sports ...

54993.  Thu Feb 23, 2006 5:10 pm Reply with quote

Like good old Britain. One Winter olympic gold and it will nearly be a National Holiday

54996.  Thu Feb 23, 2006 5:12 pm Reply with quote

The commentators here are practically having conniption fits at the American skiing team's failure to score lots of gold medals, especially the lack of any from Bode Miller.

55001.  Thu Feb 23, 2006 5:30 pm Reply with quote

I hear from home that the Canadian commentators have noted the USA's lack of medals as well ....

Shame we don't get to play Scotland in the mens' curling final. We'll show you how to beat these pesky Finns though, even if our team is from Newfoundland ...

55051.  Fri Feb 24, 2006 2:41 am Reply with quote

Well, what about the failure of the USA and Canada to get anyhwere in men's ice hockey, eh? EH?

Are Finland usually as good as they have been this time around? I know that Sweden and the Czech Republic won gold in 94 and 98, and that Russia have a proven track record, but I was surprised that Finland should be up there with them. Should I be?

55140.  Fri Feb 24, 2006 7:37 am Reply with quote

I was studiously avoiding mentioning the woeful performance of Canada's hockey team ...

It's an article of faith in Canada that we have the right to be the best hockey team in the world, and the performance this time is a national disgrace. The Canadian media has been full of the kind of comments you get here when England loses a football game to someone silly. But one has to say that Russia's status in hockey slightly exceeds Northern Ireland's status in football ...

At least the women took gold.

As for Finland, they are always there and thereabouts. There's a lot of hockey played in Finland, and they placed seventh in the last World Championships. There is also a handful of Finnish players in the NHL.

55210.  Fri Feb 24, 2006 9:56 am Reply with quote

Ah. Thank you :)

55285.  Fri Feb 24, 2006 1:01 pm Reply with quote

I was mightily surprised to see that the British ice hockey team had got as far as the semi-finals.

55319.  Fri Feb 24, 2006 3:01 pm Reply with quote

It was a curling team.

55552.  Sun Feb 26, 2006 9:52 am Reply with quote

The curling team got to the ice hockey semi-finals? Impressive!

55571.  Sun Feb 26, 2006 11:05 am Reply with quote

Yeh them brooms and stones are good weapons!

55602.  Sun Feb 26, 2006 2:41 pm Reply with quote

I came to the conclusion while watching the Ice Hockey that being goalie really must be the least desired position.
Do they start by being the last one picked at school?

712386.  Mon May 24, 2010 2:07 pm Reply with quote

I think the general concensus in Denmark is that Tycho Brage was poisoned by Keppler, they found quicksilver and lots of lead in hairsamples..


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