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Dec 24 13 8:53 PM

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In honour of the recently-formed Somalia national bandy team set to compete in the 2014 World Championships (http://www.somaliabandy2014.com/), please use this thread as a chance to discuss the most unusual national teams in the history of sports. By 'unusal', I generally mean teams representing countries that aren't easily associated with the sport (for cultural, historical, location or size reasons, etc.), but any suggestions will be accepted, including individual events.

Naturally, the most obvious examples come from 'tropical' nations playing winter sports, so my choice so far is the Jamaican bobsleigh team at the 1988 Winter Olympics, a.k.a. "Cool Runnings".
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TheRoonBa

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#3 [url]

Dec 25 13 6:35 PM

Swiss have a world-class beach soccer team as well. I think the beach sports are there because of Switzerland's ethnic mix (Portuguese, Italian, etc.)

I thought the Scotland kabaddi team was pretty weird (especially as they were all native, white, Scotsman as opposed to the Punjabi immigrant national teams that are pretty normal).

Some others:
Saudi Arabia ice hockey national team
Brazil curling national team

Pretty much any cricket team outside the top 30 is considered unusual (Russia, France, Brazil, etc.)

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#8 [url]

Feb 8 14 10:42 PM

Well it's always possible for someone with mixed nationalities to choose the more exotic one I guess. I heard that the violinist Vanessa Mae was hoping to compete for Thailand in skiing.

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TheRoonBa

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#10 [url]

Feb 10 14 6:55 PM

She is Alessia Di Pol, who is Italian and has represented India in 2012 and 2013! Seems she just wants to participate at the Olympics, so she picks random countries who are crap at skiing so she can get some fame.

The other Togolese participant has a Togolese mother and French father and was born in Niger. So at least there is some connection.

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#11 [url]

Feb 10 14 8:23 PM

I remember an "unforgettable" case in the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships 1996.
One of the athletes of Senegal was an Italian guy who painted his face...




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TheRoonBa

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#13 [url]

Oct 11 14 2:26 PM

Israel made their début in the European Curling Championship (C Division) in Zoetermeer, the Netherlands this week. The top 2 teams are promoted to the B Division, held later this year in Switzerland. Israel reached the play-off for 2nd place, and beat Ireland, thus gaining promotion at the first attempt, where they will play such teams as Finland and France, who have World Championship experience. Possibly the best début by an unusual sporting national team?

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TheRoonBa

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#15 [url]

Oct 12 14 10:15 PM

ISRAEL MEN'S CURLING TEAM BIOGRAPHIES (provided by Jeff Lutz)

Skip: Adam Freilich, 21, Montreal. Curled for 7 years. Father is Israeli. Home club is Montreal West. Student at Concordia.

Vice: Yuval Grinspun, 35, Toronto. Curled for 18 years. Born in Kfar Saba, Israel. Home club is East York. Business Process Analyst for Toronto Transit Commission.

Second: Jeff Lutz, 30, Detroit (Bloomfield Hills, MI). Curled for 15 years. Took up citizenship this year. Home club is Roseland in Windsor, Ont. Dir of Marketing for gloStream.

Lead: Gabriel Kempenich, 18, Rockville, MD. Curled for 12 years. Born in Beer Yaakov, Israel. Home club is Potomac. Student at UMBC.

Fifth: Gilad Kempenich, 22, Rockville, MD. Curled for 12 years. Born in Tel Aviv. Home club is Potomac. Student at Univ of Maryland.


3 of the 5 born in Israel, one with an Israeli father.  2 Canadian-based, 3 US-based.

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