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Thread: Girls, hockey, and politics...

  1. #1
    The Un-Holy One The Man's Avatar
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    Girls, hockey, and politics...

    There was, today, the finals game of a national hockey tournament in Russia, among young players born in 2009 and 10.

    The "Southern Penguins", from the sunny Simferopol came out on top


    The Penguins make triple history: first ever team from Crimea participating in the tournament, and also winning it; first ever team from anywhere in the South to get into the finals, let alone win the tournament; and the only team featuring a girl on the roster, Sofia Zelenskaya, you can see her right there, in the center, just left of the trophy.

    There was a big brouhaha about that. Unusual, for a girl to be playing hockey in Russia.

    Only one other case I heard of, read about it back in 2015, was a then 8 year old girl in Siberia, also named Sofia, interestingly enough, Sofia Kosenkova, in Berdsk, Novosibirsk region, who also plays on a boys' team, as a goalie
    and who, while she was fully accepted by her team and became practically revered by local fans (the local arena had their seats filled and selling standing room tickets, for first time ever, for the kids' games, since she began playing; people came from out of town to see that, a girl playing hockey against boys haha), the officials in the regional youth league did all they could to keep her off the ice. It took her parents writing personally to the legendary Soviet goalie Vladislav Tretyak, who is now president of the national hockey federation in Russia, and he apparently got their letter, was moved by it, and personally interceded with the league on her behalf and made them let her play; and also bought her the goalie gear, which her parents could not afford, and gave her his named jersey as a gift

    Good man, for a Russian sports official, who are notoriously corrupt, a surprisingly good fellow...

    In this case, also, there undoubtedly were plenty who thought that a girl playing with the boys was not right. But, fortunately, little Sofia had a powerful advantage in her favor: she is from Crimea. And you have to be nice to Crimea, in Russia, today.

    Crimea and Crimeans, since they returned to the Motherland in 2014, have received all kinds of privileges and rewards. In Moscow universities, for example, Crimean students received subsidized spots. This caused somewhat of a scandal, when it turned out that the spots, as one would imagine, didn't appear out of thin air, but were, in fact, taken away from local kids, local low income students.

    Imagine, you are from a poor family, have a bunch of siblings, your parents are struggling to feed and clothe you guys, and for last two years you worked your ass off for one goal, for your ultimate opportunity for a better life - a university education, for you, the first one in your whole family to achieve this. You gave up on a social life and studied like hell to do well enough on the EGE (national exam for Grade 11 high school students, the Grads, there is no Grade 12 there, which determines university placement, and, for the low incomers, determines if their application for the subsidized spot is accepted). And then, suddenly, you are told, sorry, sonny, we had to make space for these boys and girl from Crimea, so you'll have to give up your spot. Maybe try next year, or go apply elsewhere. Crazy... Created some hostility towards the Crimeans on some campuses, actually, though that calmed down fast enough, thank God.

    Point is, even today, three years later, when Crimea's special status is wearing off, and even some people starting to demand it be treated, now, like any other region (including for the government to stop sending them huge amounts of federal financial aid, much of which is simply getting pilfered and pocketed by local government officials anyway, never benefiting regular people at all), mistreating, or even, frankly, APPEARING to mistreat a bunch of little Crimeans would only invite a ferocious nationalist backlash upon the heads of the hockey officials. So, in the end, they looked the other way on Sofia, and let her participate.

    What I am hoping, however, is that this was the ONLY rule they disregarded for the Crimean team. I am all for girls playing, if for no other reason than that it may, finally, improve the results of the grown up national women's team, who suck, compared to Canada or the US, which, unlike Russia, have plenty of young women playing in youth sport. But, I hope they did not go TOO far in accommodating the Crimeans, did not bend all the rules for them, the referees did not deliberately avoid calling their errors or bad play, etc. Because nothing would be worse especially for that little girl, Sofia, than an unearned victory... All that would show, is that a girl cannot play on part with boys, without the aid of... external circumstances, if you will. I hope that did not happen here.

    I will give these kids my full benefit of the doubt though, congratulate them on a wonderful win, and wish them more success in their future

  2. #2
    The Un-Holy One The Man's Avatar
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    Oh, and for those who, undoubtedly, will misunderstand my title, which is not impossible, now that I am rereading it myself; and those that expect a pic with sexy girls in every thread about Russia that I post here; I would hate to leave anyone disappointed, so here is a racy photo of some cheerleaders from the KHL (Russia's answer to NHL)

    Enjoy lol

  3. #3
    Veteran Member Dr.Knuckles's Avatar
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    Hockey..... with.... cheerleaders....,,

    (Paradigm shifted, mind blown, box thought outside of, life altered, perspective broadened, blood flow diverted)
    Thanks from The Man

  4. #4
    The Un-Holy One The Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.Knuckles View Post
    Hockey..... with.... cheerleaders....,,

    (Paradigm shifted, mind blown, box thought outside of, life altered, perspective broadened, blood flow diverted)
    Oh, yeah.

    SKA St. Petersburg's "Sisters" are probably the hottest cheer girls in Russia




  5. #5
    Veteran Member Dr.Knuckles's Avatar
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    Sisters?

    Oh my God. That....

    That's so hot... wrong... I meant wrong.
    Thanks from The Man

  6. #6
    The Un-Holy One The Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.Knuckles View Post
    Sisters?

    Oh my God. That....

    That's so hot... wrong... I meant wrong.
    And here are Spartak Moscow's "Angels"







    I know over here cheerleading is mainly associated with football.

    In Russia, they actually have an All-Russia American Football League, believe it or not, since 1987; and it does have own cheerleaders



    It's not a very big or rich league, however, the players are all amateurs, basically, mainly - rugby guys who wanted something more intense lol

    They play for little money, mainly on borrowed soccer fields, in front of, mostly, their own families

    The sport never did get all that popular there; and the current nasty relations with the US only add to that...

    So, cheerleaders there are mainly at hockey and also soccer games

    "Panthers", Spartak Moscow's soccer cheerleaders at a practice lol

    Btw, Russia has sports "clubs", rather than teams. That means - multiple sports under one club name. Spartak, for example, has men's and women's team in hockey, soccer, volleyball, and basketball; and also youth programs for all of those.

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