Regarding Eastern Europeans and Hockey...
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01-28-2013, 12:20 AM
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Ottawa, Canada
I am originally from Serbia and I have always wondered the same thing. However, winter sports have never been huge in Southeastern Europe for one reason or another, and their winter athletes are on par with the African countries for the most part. Even though for instance Serbia is one of the great pound-for-pound sports nations in the world, it has never won any kind of medal in winter sports in its entire history.
Simply put, sports such as football (soccer), basketball, handball, volleyball, water polo, tennis and some amateur sports have always been the priority.
When SFR Yugoslavia used to exist, the national team was rather solid, but that was mostly due to the Slovenians. Nonetheless, there was a hockey league in which Serbian and Croatian clubs were sometimes crowned champions and arenas were full. The country's breakup largely contributed to the fall of hockey in the other countries. Recently, Croatia has done some progress regarding hockey's popularity thanks to KHK Medvescak which plays in the EBEL League.
In Romania, hockey is only popular within the Hungarian minority and 90% of its national team players are of Hungarian ethnicity.
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