by National Greek Ice Hockey Team on Friday, April 15, 2011 at 8:35am
Around 19 years ago, Greece and Turkey were both making their debut in the International ice hockey scene, with both countries facing similar problems. In the first historic game between the two nations at the 1992 IIHF World Championship Pool C that was also held in South Africa, the Greek National team defeated Turkey with the impressive 15-3, which was the biggest difference that Team Greece has never won in Interantional competition. That same year, in the qualifications that were held in Ankara and in front of a fanatical Turkish crowd, Team Greece prevailed again this time with 10-2.
Over the years, the difference in caliber of both National Teams took very different paths. Fast forward 19 years to 2011; The two teams had played against each other in 6 different occasions in the past 19 years, and each team had 3 wins a piece.
But today's game was all Turkey, with 46 shots for while the Greek team only had 10, it was only natural for Turkey to beat Greece 16-0, making this the biggest defeat Greece has ever suffered against Turkey. This game doesn’t even merit any additional commentary as there was really only one true team on the ice.
What is important is……….HOW DID THIS HAPPEN? What have both countries done so differently to develop the sport in the past 19 years that created todays humiliation?
In Turkey, they created a SEPARATE Ice Hockey Federation (since for many years they had, just like we do in Greece, an Ice Sports Federation), they changed the president and members of the Federation and invested wisely for the development of the sport. Today, Turkey has 5 Olympic rinks, they participate in all IIHF World Championships categories, (Men’s, Women’s, Junior U20 and Junior U18), they have a National Championship for Men, Woman, Juniors and kids (in the Men’s they have Super League and Division 1), they are 35th in the World Rankings, they played Div2 last year, they have organized World Championships for Woman’s and Juniors and also organized the Univeristy Olympic Games in Turkey.
Today, Greece, although the federation has received great amounts in government funding (This is documented files available to the public), we don’t have an Olympic ice rink, we are in 45th in the world rankings(although we moved up one spot last year), we have never played in Div2, we only compete in Men’s World Championship, we don’t a consistent National Woman’s, Junior or kids programs, we don’t have a SEPARATE Ice Hockey Federation, we have never organized a World Championship in our country, and we don’t send our best athletes to compete in the World Championship, even thought these same athletes haev won a silver medal, just one year prior, for reasons previously documented, we don’t allow the Greek League Champions to participate in the Greek National Championship again for reasons previously documented...
BUT we do have one THING... ...we have THE SAME federation president for 26 years... AND ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO SHOW FOR IT WHEN COMPARED TO OTHER COUNTRIES ICE HOCKEY PROGRAMS!