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09.01.2020 13:19
Army not so much as a path to Olympics -- he didnt know about WCAP -- but simply because, I wanted to be American, he said.Late Antworten

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia -- Few professional sports teams had grander beginnings than Kunlun Red Star.With Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping looking on, Chinas biggest venture in hockey to date joined the Kontinental Hockey League in June at a lavish ceremony in Beijing. For the Russia-based KHL, Kunlun is a chance to beat the NHL to the Chinese market. Chinese officials hope the club can groom enough talent to strengthen its feeble national team in time for the Beijing Olympics in 2022.This project was organized at the highest level, said Vladimir Yurzinov Jr., Kunluns Russian coach. Its good that were first because if it wasnt us (in the Chinese market), it would be the North Americans.China offers a vast potential fan base for foreign sports leagues, but there are challenges in turning interest into revenue.English Premier League soccer is the biggest success story, having built a dedicated Chinese following in part by playing preseason games in Hong Kong. That has helped to push its global TV rights deals to record levels. The Womens Tennis Association now hosts some of its most lucrative events there, thanks to the breakout popularity of Chinese player Li Na, while the British-based sport of snooker has also reversed its fortunes by finding a younger audience in China.Still, Tom Doctoroff, an U.S.-based expert on marketing in China, cautioned that hockey has limited potential in China because it is too overtly aggressive for Chinese consumers, and persuading them to pay to watch sports broadcasts is difficult.Free remains the frame of reference for most consumers, he said in an email.That hasnt stopped Kunlun from rushing through a summer of recruitment and training to create a club in record time. The team is off a sobering start to life in the KHL, widely considered the worlds second-strongest league.Kunlun had lost three in a row when it arrived for a recent game at SKA St. Petersburg, which had ex-NHL stars Slava Voynov and Ilya Kovalchuk on the ice. There were a few giggles when the announcer asked fans to stand for the Chinese anthem, and SKA barely had to sweat for a 3-0 win as Kunluns Canadian and European import players struggled to deal with one of the strongest rosters outside the NHL.The KHL sprawls across eight countries and nine time zones, meaning players face a punishing schedule of long flights across Eastern Europe and Asia. Thats a new world for ex-Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Brett Bellemore, who had never left North America until he joined Kunlun before the season. For Bellemore, the move was more about seeing the world with his new wife, Natasha, than the financial side of playing in China.Id never even had jetlag before, he said. Its been a bit of a ride, but its been exciting.Kunlun boasts players from nine countries, ranging from 36-year-old NHL veteran Alexei Ponikarovsky to young Chinese players just starting their careers. Among them is Rudi Ying, an 18-year-old who grew up in the United States after moving there at age 10 to pursue his dream of being a professional hockey player.Spreading hockey beyond Chinas wealthier classes will be hard, given the cost of equipment and facilities. Right now, soccer is attracting the lions share of government and private funds, with President Xi the countrys No. 1 fan.Ive had one foot in either culture, said Ying, who comes from a privileged background. It helps me to see how far behind Chinese hockey is. Chinas not to blame, its just a sport thats not very popular ... We dont have much time to catch up.Despite the political fanfare around Kunlun in Russia and China, club spokesman Oleg Vinokurov said no government money is involved and funding comes from Russian and Chinese companies. So far, there are mixed signals on the success of the fledgling team: While almost 8,000 people watched Kunlun win its first home game in Beijing, a game at its secondary arena in Shanghai attracted just 550 fans.For the KHL, moving into Asia is something of a plan B after its westward expansion into Europe stalled, with several teams experiencing chronic financial difficulties. The long-term aim is for Kunlun to be the basis for the Chinese national team, just as CSKA Moscow was for the Soviet Union.Yurzinov said part of his mission as Kunlun coach is to improve the Chinese players on his roster with mentoring from older teammates and simply practice after practice. The focus is firmly on developing local talent, not attracting foreigners to represent China in international play, as 2018 Olympic host South Korea has done.If it cant improve the national team by 2022, China will be the first Olympic host not to take part in the mens tournament. The national team was pounded 9-0 by the Netherlands earlier this year and will play next years world championship in Division II B, competing against the likes of Mexico and North Korea.Ying will be 23 when the 2022 Olympics take place and hopes he will be a star on home ice for the Chinese national team. He worries the timetable is just too tight, even with Kunlun spawning a new generation.The reason we created this organization to try to help promote Chinese hockey is because one person cant do it, he said. If 2022 comes around and Im the only one whos at that level, its not going to be enough. Custom Packers Jerseys . Aaron Harrison scored a 22 points for Kentucky (6-1), which has won four in a row following a Nov. 12 loss to current No. 1 Michigan State. Julius Randle overcame a scoreless first half and added his sixth double-double in as many games with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Cheap Packers Jerseys . -- Aaron Murray threw for 408 yards and three touchdowns, ran for another score, and led No. . -- San Francisco 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks was fined $15,570 by the NFL on Wednesday for his hit on Saints quarterback Drew Brees last Sunday. Custom Rashan Gary Jersey . While hell be dialed in to that tournament on a course he loves, you can forgive him if his eyes glance down the calendar just a bit, towards April. Packers Jerseys China .05 million next season unless Graham and the Saints subsequently agree on a long-term deal. The designation was released Monday after the deadline passed for NFL teams to use franchise or transition tags on players becoming free agents. FORT CARSON, Colo. -- Kenyan-born runner Hillary Bor wont be content with just wearing the red, white and blue at the Olympics.Hes willing to protect his new country, too.The sergeant in the U.S. Army heads to Rio this month while his unit -- which includes his older brother -- is already deployed to Afghanistan. Bor stayed behind this time, but it could be his turn soon.Thats the reality for Bor and three other runners of Kenyan descent whove taken a unique path to the Olympics through enlisting in the Army, earning U.S. citizenship, training with the military branchs World Class Athlete Program and making Team USA.They understand the risks. Theyve pledged allegiance to America -- as soldiers to defend and now as runners hoping to bring home an Olympic medal.I might be told tomorrow, `Hey, pack your things, were deploying. I cant say, `I have the Olympics coming up, said Army specialist Paul Chelimo, whos from Iten, Kenya, and earned a spot in the 5,000 meters at U.S. Trials in July. Whatever happens from now to the Olympics, into the future, Im here to follow the orders.Simply the Army way of life for specialists Leonard Korir and Shadrack Kipchirchir, Chelimo and Bor.- Korir hails from Iten, Kenya, and was a two-time NCAA champion at Iona College before joining the Army in May 2015 as a motor transportation operator. He qualified in the 10,000 meters at trials.- Kipchirchir is from Eldoret, Kenya, and was an All-American at Oklahoma State University. He enlisted in June 2014 as a financial management technician. Hes going in the 10,000.- Bor, a 3,000-meter steeplechase runner, arrived from Eldoret as a teenager, running for Iowa State and entering the military in July 2013. Hes one of three Bor brothers in the Army -- the other two following his lead.- Chelimo became a standout at University of North Carolina-Greensboro, before joining in May 2014. He balances his time between training and his duties as a water treatment specialist.If you have a contract with a big shoe company, thats predictable -- you know whats going to happen, Chelimo explained. With the Army, you dont know.All four are part of the Armys World Class Athlete Program, which formally began in 1997 and is designed to give soldier-athletes the support necessary to compete at the highest levels. The program -- headquartered in Fort Carson, Colorado -- includes a variety of sports, with more than a dozen soldier-athletes and three coaches making the trip for the Rio Olympics and Paralympics.A number bolstered by the Kenyan-raised runners.Its a pretty humbling moment to think that somebody would want to leave their countrry and come to yours and do so to the degree in which they would die for something they havent even been a part of yet, said Army Capt.dddddddddddd Matthew Hickey, who supervises the program. WCAP provides a lot to the U.S. Army -- we help train soldiers, help make more ready and resilient troops.However, if all hell broke loose, everybody in the U.S. Army is a soldier first and expected to go deploy and defend the country.Bor was nearly sent to Afghanistan in February, when his unit needed either him or his brother to go.His older brother, Julius, instantly volunteered.It takes courage for someone to raise their hand and say, `Im going to fight for my country. Its something I admire, Hillary Bor said. He knew I had a chance to make the team.Growing up, Bor preferred soccer over running, which he didnt really even take seriously until after high school when his uncle, Barnaba Korir, a standout at Iowa State, enticed him to come to America and give college running a try.Bor followed his uncles lead to Ames, Iowa, and in no time unlocked a talent for the steeplechase, a 3,000-meter race around the track that includes jumping over barriers and into water. Bor became a four-time All-American at Iowa State.After graduation, his running career seemed to hit a road block. So he took an assistant teaching position in New Mexico before joining the Army not so much as a path to Olympics -- he didnt know about WCAP -- but simply because, I wanted to be American, he said.Later, his two older brothers followed his lead -- Julius joining him at Fort Carson and Emmanuel at Fort Bliss, Texas.Bors running career was rekindled through a timed two-mile run thats required for soldiers.He finished in roughly 10 minutes.Everyone was like, `You should compete for the Army team, Bor said.Not as simple as that, though. First, he had to earn his place in WCAP by running a qualifying time. It took him nearly three years -- and stepping up his training largely on his own -- to earn inclusion.A typical day for him went like this: Rise at dawn for training runs with an off-base coach, return to perform his Army tasks and train again at night.In May, Bor ran the necessary time to earn a spot in WCAP. And in July, he finished second at trials to secure his place in Rio.Fittingly, Bors first message was to his brother in Afghanistan.This is not only for my brother, but for my whole unit, Bor said. Its for every soldier thats deployed now.---On the web: ' ' '

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