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Ruskies in favor of no brewskies at hockey

Updated: 2014-02-18 07:18
By Agence France-Presse in Sochi, Russia ( China Daily)

While American spectators are upset at being denied a frosty cold one during Sochi Olympic hockey games most Russians agree with the ban, saying it helps keep rowdy fans in check.

"If they sell beer at hockey games it could be dangerous," Yevgeny Khislavskii of St. Petersburg said.

"If fans drink too much they can make trouble and fight. It is a safety issue and that is the most important thing."

Russian law bans alcohol in public areas at sports venues, which means both ice hockey venues at the Winter Olympics, the Bolshoi Ice Dome and Shayba Arena, do not serve beer to thirsty fans.

Slavik Grazhdankin said there is a misconception that all Russians love their brewskies.

"If people drink beer it is not good," said the 25-year-old fire alarm installer.

"Some people they get emotional and others fall asleep. Everybody thinks all Russians love beer but I like to drink water. You can drink beer before you come to the game."

Which is exactly what Andry Kazachansky did.

"We drink beer before and vodka after. Win or lose, always vodka after," said Kazachansky, 25 who works as an ecologist.

"Sometimes we are crying and sometimes we are celebrating."

But sitting in a hockey arena without beer is like a street corner in Seattle without a Starbucks, says American Gretchen Kirkey.

"It is crazy," said Kirkey. "We were at a hockey game last night and I tried to get a beer (and) they said 'no'. I don't want to sound like a lush but it would be nice to have a beer watching hockey."

(China Daily 02/18/2014 page23)