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August 2007 - Nr. 8


The Editor
Dan's Satire
KW & Beyond
Hier O.K. Berlin!
Austria's Victory
Encounter at City Hall
German Customs at Carabram
Dick reports...
Sybille reports
Ham Se det jehört?
Roy Thomson & Massey Hall
Dafur/Dafur at the ROM
In Your Face
April 14, 1912
Opera In Concert's 34th
2007 Blue Planet Run
Germany Goes Green Faster

Austria’s Victory


The story of the Austrian Under-20 World Cup team is the one true feel-good story in this past FIFA U-20 World Cup. This was one team that acquitted itself in a fashion that all of Austria was proud. And Austria and the pockets of Germanic and Austrian communities all over the world got behind them.

During the weeks from June 30th, to July 22nd, the FIFA U-20 World cup was held in Canada and the Austrian team progressed to the semi final stage for the first time in their history. They participated in the second last match of the tournament losing to the talented Chilean team. The Austrian U-20 world cup team won 4th place in the second biggest event FIFA organizes: A proud moment in Austria’s sporting history.

This team of youngsters became young men during this tournament, exceeding expectations. Austrian soccer history is replete with failure to be one of the teams in the world cup. Whenever they did qualify they bowed out of the tournament with nary a whimper. This year they made us all proud. Even the Austrian Consulate stopped work for the introductory game, and held a party in the true Austrian tradition.

Not to be forgotten is the continued success in this World Cup of the SOS Children’s Villages, the official charity of the FIFA U-20 World Cup. It takes an event of this magnitude to focus the world’s attention where it is needed. Funds raised for "Let's Play, Let's Build" will go towards building homes and creating outreach programmes in southern Africa for orphaned and abandoned children. Among the construction plans is a new SOS Children's Village in Namibia, which will include a kindergarten and family strengthening programme. A similar programme will also be established at an SOS Children's Village in Rustenburg, South Africa SOS Children's Villages is an independent, non-governmental social development organisation which has been working to meet the needs and protect the interests and rights of children since its foundation in 1949 in Austria.

What is this thing that has stirred the emotions of most of the world? Soccer is a sport played on a field of grass with white lines painted on the surface to delineate the boundaries of play. There are two posts held apart by a similar beam (often called the ‘wood work’) and a string net (often called the ‘onion bag’) placed at each end. There are eleven men that work together over 90 minutes competing against another similar team with the purpose of putting the ball in the ‘net’. That is soccer in its most basic form. However the game outside of the constraints of the lines and the 90 minutes is what evokes real passion. The true fan is on the edge of his seat watching every minute detail of the play cheering for the moments of pure skill and groaning in frustration at the lapses of judgment on the field of play. The true fan knows what a 4-4-2 is and who made the defensive blunder that cost his team that goal. The passionate fan is decked out in the colors of their favorite team. The passionate fan goes through more lives than a cat during the course of a game.

So the ‘beautiful game’ has been used for so much good. It is one of the few sporting events we have that evoke so much emotion and it was held here in Canada this time! Congratulations to Canada for officially breaking the attendance records for the games. The competition drew almost 1.2 million fans, surpassing the previous record set in Mexico in 1983.

It is no secret that the South Americans have dominated this tournament since its very beginning. The Argentineans, this years winners have won it 6 times and Brazil 4 times. In Europe teenagers do not play as great a role as they do in the South American leagues. Now with 2 of the final four in tournament being from Europe perhaps there will be a different winner next time.

What is next for the Austrian team? Dare we envision a place in the final next time? Could we be seeing the possibility of a world cup win? Truth is they have a good a chance as any country out there. Now is the time to build on this success.


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