NAMING the championship mascot after testicles (in British slang) was an unconventional move. But “Goooly” was perhaps not the last surprise the local organisers of the Ice Hockey World Championships have prepared. Here is a brief list of all the things that can still go wrong:
1. Ice will melt. The Bratislava arena was finished just weeks ahead of the event. After early preliminary matches, players complained that the stadium was hot. “The ice was decent maybe for the first half of the first third; then it was worse. But guys said that it was still much better than before,” said goalie Jaroslav Halák a week before the start of the tournament, when he played his first match for the national team.
2. Posters will peel off. Ever since Slovakia got the chance to host the event, city councils, government officials, and local entrepreneurs started talking about all the reconstruction work that would have to be done. The result? Dozens of posters and last-minute graffiti designed to cover-up the mess.
3. There will be too few toilets. Bratislava is notorious for its lack of public restrooms. There is already talk of insufficient sanitary facilities in the fan zones. Visitors should remember that McDonald’s or shopping malls are always a good option. But if those are full as well?
4. Theft will thrive. The fact that even before the start of the tournament someone broke into star center Pavol Demitra’s room in the Bratislava hotel where the Slovak team is staying was not a good sign. But many worry that fans’ wallets will be cleaned out not only by old-school thieves but also by taxi drivers, pub owners and hotel managers massively overcharging for their services.
Let’s hope none of these concerns will materialise. And the world will not remember Slovakia as a country of goolies.
2. May 2011 at 0:00 | Lukáš Fila