World Championship Trophy already in Prague

Zbynek Kusy a Pohar

On Tuesday, November 18, 2003, Zbynek Kusy, the Chairperson of the 2004 Ice Hockey World Championship (IIHF) Organizing Committee transported the World Championship trophy from Zurich, the seat of the IIHF to the host country, the Czech Republic.

On May 9, 2004 in Prague's Sazka Arena the trophy will be awarded to the winning team at the championship to begin on April 24 in Prague and Ostrava. The fact that the cup came to Prague so soon was a big surprise for all involved. "I didn't expect it at all," said Mr. Kusy as he was unwrapping the cup in the presence of Karel Gut, the Chairperson of the Czech Ice Hockey Federation and Mojmir Satava, the Head of the company Pro-Hockey on Wednesday, November 19, 2003. In Zurich, Mr. Kusy also met with René Fasel, the IIHF President, who had just returned from a tour of facilities in Vancouver, Canada, the setting for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. "Mr. Fasel handed me a bulky metal suitcase and said, 'Here is the cup,'" said Mr. Kusy of the meeting with the head of world hockey. Mr. Kusy added, "I had no idea that I would be bringing it to Prague so soon. But Mr. Fasel said that it was common procedure and so here it is."
Mr. Kusy experienced some trepidation at the airport in Zurich-Kloten. For almost one hour he was drawing up documents with Swiss customs officers regarding the export of the precious trophy. "But it was clear that the cup wasn't leaving Switzerland for the first time so we got through the paperwork pretty quickly," said Mr. Kusy. The cabin attendants on the Zurich-Prague flight allowed Mr. Kusy to place the suitcase with the trophy on the seat next to him. "They even fastened its seat belt and from time to time the stewardess asked in fun if my neighbour needed anything," joked Mr. Kusy.
The future champions' trophy weighs 10 and a half kilograms and is made from gold and silver. The International Ice Hockey Federation does not release information regarding its price - and it is actually said that it does not have a price because it is not for sale. André Richard, a Spanish artist from Barcelona was the designer of the trophy.  The first time the new trophy was ever awarded was in Hannover, Germany in 2001 when René Fasel presented it to Czech captain, Robert Reichel.
On Thursday, November 20, the cup will begin its first journey across the Czech Republic. Together with all involved staff members, it will travel to Ostrava for the meeting of the Championship Organizing Committee. There it will be decided whether the trophy should be displayed somewhere, or whether it will be kept in a safe deposit box until the spring of next year.

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