The Chinese Hockey Team for Beijing 2022 has 18 Americans in it
Quite a curious hockey team to participate in the host Winter Olympics gathered China. Of the 25 players, only 7 are Chinese and the remaining 18 are Americans.
It turned out that the decision was reached because the Chinese could not put together a team that would be a worthy opponent of the superpowers in this sport, the United States, Canada, Russia and Germany. There have even been rumors that Norway may replace China in the tournament.
Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games in Beijing
The IIHF has a rule according to which a foreigner can participate in the Olympic Games if he has lived and played for the national team of another country in the last two years. This led to the decision to support the local Kunlun Red Star team in the search and selection of promising players from leading nations. Kunlun Red Star also participates in the Continental Hockey League (CHL), where it plays against strong teams from Russia.
As a result, even hockey players with NHL experience will now appear on the ice for China. Goalkeeper Jeremy Smith has even played 10 games for a team like Colorado Avalanche. He signed with Kunlun in 2019 and is now eligible to play in the Olympics and is excited about the opportunity.
“It's a great opportunity. I didn't even dream of playing in the Olympics and not to mention for the host country,” said Smith.
Also in the lineup is Jake Chelios, whose father Chris has a 26-year career in the NHL. His family did not accept the decision to play for China with a smile at first, but now they support him.
Due to the decision of the NHL leadership not to allow players to participate for their national teams in Beijing, the Chinese team can be quite competitive.
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