Sochi 2014: Austria Hockey Team Apologizes for Partying Until 6 a.m. Before Loss
Members of the Austrian olympic men's hockey team have apologized to their country for partying until 6 a.m. right before they were run out of the Olympics on Monday.
After Austria defeated Norway 3-1 on Sunday, a group of players reportedly went drinking in the Austria House and a local club and stumbled back to their dorms at 6 a.m. Hours later, they played Slovenia for a bid to the quarterfinals. And they promptly got run out of the Olympics with a flat performance in a 3-1 loss.
"We had a real chance to reach the quarterfinals I don't know why this happened, especially before what is most likely the most important game for modern era Austrian ice hockey. It was a shock what happened after the game against Norway," Austrian head coach Manny Viveiros told the media on Wednesday afternoon. "I had no idea about it. I was shocked. We knew the players went there (Austria House) to eat something. But it was planned that they return to their rooms right afterwards."
The team even has three NHL players, and Karl Stoss, the president of the Austria Olympic Committee was shocked because he had believed this group of players was different from previous ones that appeared drunk all the time.
"I was speechless," Stoss said. "This was a completely different team that appeared knocked out all time."
The team released an apology letter, which has been translated:
"We know that this behavior is not a professional one, yet we think this did not influence our performance against Slovenia in any way or form, the disappointing team effort was the reason for the loss...We are aware of our role as role models and should have moved the celebrations to the evening after our last tournament play...
"We are at the end of the day just people who make mistakes, and we want to sincerely apologize for the negative impression that may have arisen in the public."