MEMBERS of the Slovak national hockey team on May 15 received a decoration from President Rudolf Schuster, the Order of the President, First Class, following their triumph at the World Hockey Championships on May 11.
However, when the president discovered he did not have enough of the crosses to go around, he told the players that some would have to wait until the Kremnica mint produced more, and that while he had plenty of second class awards, he had not expected the Slovak team to win, and thus had not laid in a large enough store of the required article.
The players, some already exhibiting signs they had had enough of politicians for one day, then moved on to meetings with Prime Minister Dzurinda at the Government Office, and members of parliament at the legislature.
Team captain Miro Šatan used his speech to MPs to say: "I want to use this occasion to tell you that we gained this victory because we bonded and created a great team. In doing this we set a great example for the entire country. You people have a chance to do a great deal for Slovakia.
"But in order to do this, you have to put by your personal interests and become part of the team."
20. May 2002 at 0:00 | From press reports of TASR and SITA