Finland has high hopes for ice hockey
SPORT – The Ice Hockey World Championship semi-final games 2015 are on in the Czech Republic. The whole of Finland is holding its breath in front of the television as ice hockey is without a doubt the most popular sport in the country.
According to the National Geographic Society, ice hockey is the most popular sport in only two countries in the world: Canada and Finland. Finland has been successful in the icy game, with multiple silver and bronze medals. However, it has been World Champion only twice. People may ask ‘where were you in 1995, when Finland won the World Championship for the first time?’ The other winning year was 2011.
‘We´ll meet at the marketplace!’
Traditionally the winning ice hockey team is celebrated at the main marketplace of Helsinki. People gather in the streets to party. When Lordi won the Eurovision song contest in 2006, he said: ‘We´ll meet at the marketplace’, meaning that he wanted to have a similar welcome and party as the winning ice hockey team had had.
Finland will encounter Slovenia on 7 May.
Text: Marie von Bell, Photos: youvebeenczeched (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)