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Great article from the NHL.com site:

In many ways, ice hockey in Spain is the sport that can’t be killed and refuses to die. Chronically under-funded and beset with a nearly annual parade of controversies and setbacks, Spanish hockey has always found a way to hang on when others have been ready to pronounce it dead. That’s a testament to the country’s small, but dedicated, community of players, coaches and fans.

In Spain, a country of 40 million people, there are nine viable rinks, but just 263 registered hockey players, according to the most recent International Ice Hockey Federation survey of players. To put that in perspective, there are 62,886 registered players in Finland, which has a population of 5.5 million people. At the adult hockey level, Spain has a mere 139 players. That’s fewer than Turkey (215) and South Africa (140) and barely more than Mexico (125), Israel (120) or tiny Luxembourg (104).

“In most of Spain – as well as Latin America – there are no proper weather conditions for ice hockey,” explains David Schlegel, the director of Czech-based E-Sports. “But inline hockey is popular there. Most of the ice hockey teams have typically been concentrated in the northeast of the country.”

NHL.com - Across the Pond
 

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Well I remember this from Shawshank Redemption lol, European's left Europe and moved to Africa to escape War I think it was... they could have brought their hobbies(hockey) with them and introduced it. A lot of immigrants did end up staying their instead of heading home.
But Olaf Kolzig is from Johannesburg.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The IIHF used to publish a world ranking list similar to the one that FIFA publishes every 3 months. Israel cracked the top 30 or at least top 35 a couple years ago.
 

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Thats interesting stuff...

I love how Kolzig is African, just like Steve Nash its just really weird to see like different ethnic people kinda randomly poppin out of Africa, Eg: Kolzig the German and Nash the Canadian.
 
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