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Players about XIII International Christmas Hockey Tournament in Minsk

Belarus is once again at the center of significant sporting events. On January 4, the XIII Christmas Amateur Ice Hockey Tournament for the prize of the President of Belarus starts in Minsk on January 4.

Eight teams will fight for the trophy. The Balkans team is taking part for the first time. It brings together representatives of eight states at once: Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, FYR Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Turkey and Croatia. Thus, the current competition will be the most large-scale in terms of the number of participating countries.

Belarus will be represented by the team of the President. Hockey players are full-prepared for the tournament and share experiences and expectations.

Martin Strabak, Slovakia's defenseman:
Infrastructure at the tournament is at a high level. I would say this is like at the World Championship.

Participant of the Christmas ice hockey tournament:
For us it is a great honor to come and play against very good ice hockey nations such as Belarus, Russia, Finland.

Participant of the Christmas ice hockey tournament:
We played for HC Grodno, when the city was in its infancy hockey years, we were like pioneers. The mood is excellent; we've arrived with a New Year mood.

Thomas Griga, Switzerland forward:
Belarus is often called little Switzerland? I cannot compare, because we've just arrived. But I think this can be true.

Michael Bressak, Germany's defenseman:
This is my third time here. I am always happy to come. In my opinion, Minsk from year to year becomes more beautiful. This is a modern city that only changes for the better. It is so clean around, great food, nice people.

Jure Vnuk, Balkan team striker:
I am very happy to be here. I cannot wait for the start of the matches. I know that Belarus is a strong nation. We have many excellent players and I am glad that I have the opportunity to play with them.

Athletes from hot Emirates feel really cold here. Knitted hats are probably saving them.

Saeed Al Nuaimi, UAE striker:
This is my third time in Belarus so your weather for me is not a surprise. I even love it. Of course, it differs significantly from the weather in the Emirates - we have heat this time of year. So we took a lot of warm clothes.

Faisal Al-Suwaidi, defender of the United Arab Emirates ice hockey team:
We think the most memorable game was the one versus the team of the President of Belarus. It's an honor to play against him. I believe that such events help strengthen the friendship between our countries. These relationships are constantly evolving. A recent example is the abolition of visas. This year we have already arrived in Belarus without a visa.

Minsk preparing for XIII International Christmas Hockey Tournament