The process of getting ready for the Winter Deaflympics is in full swing in Khanty-Mansiysk despite of the international biathlon competitions held in the capital of Ugra these days. The ice-hockey tournament that will take place in “Arena Ugra” is expected to attract the biggest attention of the audience.
The cultural and entertainment complex “Arena Ugra” is functioning since 2008. This unique construction is an autonomous sports multipurpose center with a professional ice arena. Itholds5 500 spectators. This is a home arena of the ice-hockey club “Ugra” that plays in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL).
5 national teams will participate in the ice-hockey tournament. They are squads of Russia, Canada, USA, Finland and Kazakhstan. The teams play with each other in group stage and then 4 best squads will meet in semifinals.
According to the experts responsible for getting the venue ready for the games, the ice arena is absolutely ready to host the Deaflympic tournament. Deaf ice-hockey doesn’t differ much from classic discipline. The only difference is in special light equipment that will accompany the decisions of referees.
As for the schedule of the tournament, the drawing procedure will take place upon the arrival of teams to Khanty-Mansiysk a few days before the start of the Games. According to the schedule, each day 2 games of the group stage of the tournament will be played. ThegroupstagestartsonMarch’29. April’03 will be the day of semifinals and next day the games for bronze medal will be played. The final game of the tournament will take place on the last day of the Deaflympics – April’05. The entrance to all ice-hockey games will be free of charge.
It is to be noted that ice-hockey was included in the program of the Games in 1991 on the XII Winter Deaflympics in Banff, Canada. The team of the USSR because the gold-winner of the tournament. Later on the national team of Russia was becoming the medalist of the Deaflympic in ice-hockey several times.