While America’s attention is focused on Indianapolis for this weekend’s Super Bowl, the rest of the universe has its attention on another metropolis, Almaty in Kazahkstan which is host to the 2012 World Bandy Championships. As I detailed in a post some time ago, bandy is basically field hockey on ice. In contrast to the events in Indy where thousands of fans and members of the press crowded the stadium for today’s press day, the World Championship matches in Almaty have sort of a zen thing going for them. The stadium seats what looks to be about 10,000 but when I fortuitously happened upon today’s match between Sweden and the U.S., it did not see any people in the stands. None. The fact that the stadium is outdoors and the temperature was about 20 F., if that, probably has something to do with holding down the attendance. The competitors certainly are not playing the game for the adulation. Especially the U.S. side. The final score was Sweden 15, USA 0. They should not feel too bad because in Sweden’s four matches so far they have scored 47 goals and given up only 1, so the US drubbing was pretty much par for the course.
Here is a Swedish player winding up to take a shot at the ball.
And there is the result, another goal for Sweden.
The poor goalie never seemed to have a chance. Clearly, the U.S. has a ways to go to figure in the world of international bandy, if indeed such a world even exists. It is not hard, though to see why the Scandinavian countries do well at this sport.
When your seas freeze, that probably inspires a lot of ways to pass the time.
In class today the teacher was saying that January is a let down after all the fun of Christmas but the weather has been much better in my opinion lately than in December. For one thing the days were shorter. We are well over 8 hours of daylight now and it has been sunny lately, which is great. It has been in the 20s for several days now so winter is officially here. It is supposed to get down to around 10 F. or maybe even 5 F. this weekend. Biking to town for school should be interesting. At 20 F. it is actually invigorating and one’s head is as clear as possible to deal with the ins and outs of Swedish.
Luckily, the scenery requires no language skills. It is really beautiful here right now. With some snow it would be spectacular. Fingers crossed.