Alberto Ruiz asked me to write a few lines about hockey in China. Here it is.
Eventually I’ll also put the text on my webpage. Please let me know if you have
any additions or other suggestions.
The hockey tournament at UNICON 10in Beijing, China
For many German unicyclists, and probably for some others as well, the hockey
tournament was the main reason for coming to UNICON X in China. 20 teams from 9
countries (China, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Japan, Puerto Rico,
Switzerland, USA) registered for the tournament. Amongst them were Bochum, who
won the hockey tournament at the previous UNICON, and LaHiMo 1, who came in
second last time. When the tournament was almost about to begin, it was noticed
that the goals were not yet in the gym. After a long and complicated discussion
(via translators) with the Chinese UNICON organizers we figured out that the
tournament was supposed to be shifted to another day. However, that would not
give us enough time to complete all games. Eventually, we had some provisional
goals built at a shop around the corner and the tournament started. On the
second day these goals were replaced by very nice, real ice-hockey goals. For
various reasons, 4 teams canceled during the tournament: Denmark, Team USA,
China 1, and the Didi-team. Thus there were only 16 teams left. Although very
regrettable, this gave us an opportunity to catch up on the lost time.
Probably the most exciting game was the quarterfinal between Duesseldorf and
LaHiMo 2. The score after regular time was 1:1. In the five minutes extra time
each team shot one more goal. That was still a draw and so the decision had to
be made in a penalty shooting. Each player of each team had one shot from a
distance of 6.50 m. Takafumi Ogasawara, the goal keeper of LaHiMo 2 (at age
60), showed an amazing performance and led his team to a 5:2 victory.
Bochum and LaHiMo 1 already met in the semifinal. So only one of them would
reach the final. LaHiMo 1 managed to win this important game 5:3, which is a
surprisingly large margin. Normally, games between these two teams are very
close with one team shooting the decisive goal just seconds before the end.
The other team to reach the final was TCUC. According to their player Andy
Cotter, TCUC is the “best (and only) unicycle-hockey team in the USA”. The final
was scheduled for two halves of 20 minutes each. Due to a misunderstanding of
the time-keeper, the first half was stopped after 15 minutes. Both teams agreed
to leave it at that and play the second half at full length. The two finalists
were a very uneven pair. On the one hand, LaHiMo consists of a bunch of mediocre
unicyclists (none of them can properly glide or coast) with a lot of hockey
experience. On the other hand, TCUC has brilliant unicyclists. Unfortunately,
however, they don’t know what to do with a hockey stick. Okay, okay, I’m
exaggerating, but anyway, there’s a little bit of truth in it. In the end the
hockey experience won over the unicycling skill 23:2 and LaHiMo became the
unicycle-hockey world champion 2000.
A list of all games is available on the net at:
- Rolf Sander * phone: [+49] 6131/305-449 *
- Air Chemistry Department * fax: [+49] 6131/305-436 *
- Max-Planck Institute of Chemistry * email: email@example.com *
- PO Box 3060, 55020 Mainz, Germany * www.mpch-mainz.mpg.de/~sander/ *