By The King in the North, Sprots Editor
If you haven’t already acquired your snow boots and slosh pants, it is too late now. The 2017 Polar Polo Tournament has already commenced. The years passed events occurred in Eastern Siberia due to the significant warming in the higher Western territories.
Many of you may now be wondering, what is polar polo? Polar polo is exactly as the name implies. Polo is to be played in the polar regions of the world. Over the years, nations such as the United States, Italy, and Australia have sought to create their own competitive courses outside of the Arctic and Antarctic Circles, for little to no success.
Besides the obvious environmental requirements which must be present for polar polo, we are left with one major predicament. What do the players ride?
Obviously horse hooves, or any type of hoof for that matter will not gain traction on the slippery icy surface of the playing field. Therefore, the IPPC (International Polar Polo Committee) decreed that players must be positioned on a polar bear in order to be considered in play as an active member of the team.
Certainly this caused severe issues in the early stages of this sport’s developing process. Acquiring polar bears is not only difficult because of their dwindling population numbers, but also because of these beasts’ ferocity.
Tarzan, King of the Apes proclaimed, “You cannot claim the wild from something that was born to it” and so the trainers and care providers for these bears have observed first hand.
Polar bears are preferably removed from their natural environment at a young age so as to not threaten the seizure staff. Because of this, polar bear cub mortality rates have begun to decrease so that now roughly 70 percent of cubs born are likely to survive.
Unfortunately, this does not necessarily translate into anything positive for the bears. The bears are forced into captivity; much as aquamarine life is in local cities. Because of this, the bears are easily agitated by their physical restrictions, and often take it out on one another due to the limited territory.
Fortunately, these examples reflect limited cases. Although, its undoubtable that as polar polo begins to expand these examples are likely to become typical situations.
Either way, we must wait another year for the 2018 Polar Polo Tournament. The games occurred between January 10 through the 17 and included teams from twelve nations. Unfortunately, the game by game results are not available, as the number of private tragedies continued to rise with the commencement of these games. Several bears met their final days in January 2017; whether due to age or injury, these bears performed admirably amidst conditions that did not allow their maximum potential.
Sadly, we also had to say farewell to a handful of athletic competitors. Names were not publicly released due to the privatized familial contact notices that each player provides before being sent to the Arctic competition fields and facilities. Likewise, the details of the demises have also not been released.
If anyone is interested in participating in the 2018 Polar Polo Tournament, one needs only to be eighteen years of age or older, and to Google search the tournament which will provide the formal mailing information. Fill out the forms and send them along, and I’ll be looking forward to catching you all on the ice next January!