BRATISLAVA – Before the classic quarterfinal clash against the Czech Republic, Slovakia captain Richard Kapus spared 90 seconds of his time for an interview. This Bratislava native is a six-time ice hockey world championship veteran but a total newcomer to the IIHF InLine Hockey World Championship.
How did you get involved with inline hockey?
I have been playing inline every summer for 10 years already. It’s a perfect way to train for the upcoming ice hockey season!
Describe the status of inline hockey in your country.
The status is not very high but stable. There are approximately 150 players in Slovakia. This sport is very much dependent on the flooring and since we only have three surfaces in the whole of Slovakia, it’s very difficult to grow this sport. This year, we have for the first time a surface here in Bratislava and this is of great benefit to a lot of players – me included!
How would you compare ice hockey to inline hockey?
I find it slower. For an ice hockey player, breaking can also be tough at times. Something that is quite obvious for people here, but maybe not to people reading this online: playing this game is a lot warmer than ice hockey!
(Temperature in Bratislava on Thursday was over +30°C; inside the Samsung Arena, close to 40 for sure.)
What is the biggest challenge facing inline hockey in Slovakia in the future?
Hehe... right now the only thing I can think of, is to be the world champion!
How is it to live in Bratislava?
Bratislava is the best city in the world! It’s my home and I’m not planning to leave any time soon... Fridays and Saturdays downtown are something every visitor should experience!