torsdag 3. februar 2022

China Recruited Canadians to Avoid Embarrassment on the Olympic Ice

When Beijing was awarded the 2022 Olympic Winter Games, Chinese authorities found themselves with somewhat of an unwanted bonus: host countries are automatically granted a berth in the men’s ice hockey tournament. The glaring issue with that was, despite China being home to almost a full fifth of the Earth’s population, scarcely more than a few thousand of its people had ever played the game before. Lacking enough time to build a world-class team from scratch, China did the next best thing: they bought one.

Officials set to work recruiting foreign hockey talent, placing an emphasis on players with ethnic ties to the country. Eight months after China secured Olympic host status, the Kunlun Red Star was founded. While Asian heritage was unofficially preferred, recruitment expanded to include a broader scope of willing hockey talent.