Opening of 13th Christmas International Amateur Ice Hockey Tournament
The teams willing to fiercely fight for the main prize are taking part in the Christmas ice hockey tournament, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said during the opening ceremony at the Chizovka Arena sports complex.
“The 13th Christmas International Amateur Ice Hockey Tournament for the Prize of the President of the Republic of Belarus kicks off today. You will see fierce battles on ice rinks. The teams willing to do their best to win the main prize and demonstrate excellent ice hockey will compete with each other once again,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
Partaking in the 2017 tournament are the teams of Russia, Germany, Slovakia, Finland, the United Arab Emirates, and Switzerland. These teams have already taken part in the Minsk ice hockey tournaments. Balkans Team comprising the representatives of Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, and Turkey is a newcomer this year.
“This year the tournament has the biggest number of partaking countries. We are happy welcome ice hockey players from 15 states. These include the winners and medalists of world championships, Olympic Games, athletes from the NHL,” the President remarked.
Aleksandr Lukashenko underlined that ice hockey is especially popular in Belarus. “Our people can appreciate perfect pitches, assists, selflessness of goalkeepers, phenomenal skills of forwards, and the team spirit. Minsk guests will enjoy the traditional hospitality of Belarusian people, learn more about Belarus, its history and culture, make new friends. Sport is the best form of people’s diplomacy,” the Belarusian leader believes.