Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 02/15/06 at 11:27 AM ET
On a frozen alpine lake, stern-looking men on ice skates chase the puck with crude wooden sticks, splashing through pools of melt water, their sweat-soaked clothes steaming in the cold air. Welcome to Kyrgyzstan's fledgling national hockey league, nestled in the Central Asian state's remote region of Naryn. Dwarfed by snow-clad mountains, thousands of fans wrapped in layers of fur and felt watch the game, whistling and cheering wildly. Horses graze nearby on the mountain pasture, picking their way through snow and ice.continued
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