“When Turkmenistan’s 10 Olympians returned medal-less from London, President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov did not hold back in criticizing his athletes.
‘Despite the fact that our sportswomen and sportsmen had all the training opportunities to perform better in the Olympic Games and all international competitions, their performance [at the London Olympic Games] was really bad. They did not win any awards,’ Berdymukhammedov said.
Berdymukhammedov promptly shut down the Tourism and Sports Committee, which was responsible for the Turkmen Olympians, and set up a new committee dedicated strictly to sports.
“The new type of sports like hockey have to be introduced in Turkmenistan,” he said.
In a country where almost 90 percent of the land is desert and temperatures reach 50 degrees Celsius, ice-related sports are quite unusual.”