HoweInternational327 karma2016-11-02 03:03:34 UTC
On this ice we had quite a bit of interaction, especially during the practices and before and after games when there was a lot of downtime. During our friendship games we mixed the teams so that foreign players could actually play on the same lines as DPRK players. Next year we're hoping to organize some joint dinners and things like that to increase the interaction even further.
According to most of the foreign players (who were mainly expats based elsewhere in Asia) the ice was the best in Asia. There are two indoor and multiple outdoor rinks in the country. The issue is with equipment, sanctions make it very difficult for players to get the equipment they need. Many of our players were trading their equipment for autographed jerseys etc after the tournament.
They do get fans out to their national league games, for our events we had several hundred locals come and check it out. But like anywhere, awareness of events will grow with each year we do it so we're hoping to see big crowds in the future.
If they were in a Canadian league I would say they would fit in well at the Jr. B level.
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HoweInternational141 karma2016-11-02 02:28:22 UTC
Nope, can't say that we do. We're quite proud of our accomplishments, in particular with the disability portion of our work, and we truly believe there's value in what we do. The future is bright!
HoweInternational127 karma2016-11-02 08:27:59 UTC
No, I think if there was an effort to force people to come there would not have been empty seats. I assume most of them were friends and family of the DPRK team or perhaps people who had heard about the event through friends.
HoweInternational116 karma2016-11-02 03:13:28 UTC
We are well versed in the geopolitics of the region. I personally hold four university degrees including a law degree and a masters of international law and relations. I have also worked for some of the worlds most respected NGO's and IGO's. My colleague Gordon has a similar background.
We don't believe that politics or a human rights situation negatively affects the underlying value in what we do. We've always struggled to understand the logic behind those who shout accusations from a distance yet remain critical of opportunities to engage on a personal level to share the values that we hold closely.
Remember, a football game in Denver says little about Guantanamo Bay. Likewise a hockey game in Vancouver says nothing about Canada's treatment of its indigenous population. We believe that sport is non-political, and that projects like this between communities are inherently good.
HoweInternational85 karma2016-11-02 06:41:00 UTC
The "haha no" was in reference to our event being considered to be on the global stage and anybody involved taking it too seriously from a winning standpoint. We are aware of allegations like this but have never experienced this or encountered anybody (foreign or local) with direct experience with it either. On that point we simply don't have too much to add beyond what is available to read in the media, and to the best of our knowledge that does not happen in the current day.
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