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05-24-2012, 03:31 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Riga
Country: Latvia
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Originally Posted by Holden Caulfield View Post
Sorry. I try to stay up to date on the rest of the world but sometimes I slip up with things like this. So Estonia and Lithuania as well would be considered "northern europe"? Just curious, I love learning about other cultures, it is one of my favourite things. I visited 10 different countries last year on my western Europe trip, I am very excited to have a Eastern European one (maybe 2014 so I can go to Belarus despite the things that happen there(no Visa's for people with WC tickets), along with Kiev, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Helsinki, Stockholm and maybe southern Europe like Athens).

As for Latvia becoming a top 8 country, Canada, Russia, Sweden, Finland, USA, Czech Republic are powers and will continue to be. Switzerland is an upcoming and coming country and the are improving every single year to become a hockey power. Slovakia has gone through a huge downswing, but they seem to have some potential coming up right now, so it is entirely possible they retain their elite status. In the next 5-10 years it is possible that Latvia establishes itself in the secondary powers with Finland, USA, Czech, Switzerland, Slovakia but they need alot of improvement. Again I am not trying to diminish what that country accomplishes, it is simply unreal what they do with the limited populace, but it is hard to gain too much traction when the nearest competing country has almost 3x the population and some have 10 or even in the case of the USA 100x the population of that country. Those are pretty steep odds. Not impossible but very very tough.

Yes both Estonia and Lithuania are also northen countries.

I don`t think the problem is in population,the problem is in registered players across the country and the number of rinks,we were hit hard by the economic crisis so alot of the rinks were closed and lots of young guys just couldn`t afford hockey anymore,thankfully the worst is behind the number of registered players is growing slowly, we have only 4k and something registered players(icluding juniors) across the country if we could get that number to lets say 10k,the improvements would be noticable.

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