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HOCKEY

FINNISH PLAYER REMAINS SEPARATED FROM FIANCEE AS BELARUS EXTRALEAGUE PLAYOFFS ROLL ON

MIKE OLIVSON
MARCH 20, 2020  ·  10H49
With even Russia putting the KHL playoffs on pause and seemingly on the verge of cancelling or postponing the season, neighboring Belarus continues to forge ahead with a strange optimism in the face of COVID-19.

Defenseman Joonas Hurri, 28, hailing from Lahti, Finland is one of four Finnish 'legionnaires' on the roster of Neman Grodno, a team still in the Belarusian Extraleague playoffs. Speaking by phone to Finnish media outlet Ilta-Sanomat, Hurri describes a surreal culture where the country's President Alexander Lukashenko, now in his fifth term and 26th year, has proclaimed that a combination of vodka and sauna is all Belarus needs, and the populace seems to have bought it. While people do take extra precautions in terms of washing hands and sanitizing, the former Soviet republic, that many would argue to be a tinpot dictatorship, has not self-reported any cases or deaths. The situation leaves Hurri wondering if he will come back to Grodno next season.

Of further cause for personal worry, is that the lockdowns imposed by European countries including Finland have resulted in Hurri being separated for more than a month now from his fiancee, Alina Voronkova, who gained fame as Miss Finland 2018. Voronkova said that she has not received any information on how her fiancee's return will be handled in terms of a possible quarantine.

"I just have to focus on hockey," said Hurri.



Source: Is.Fi
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