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Hockey India League 2017: I want to be a doctor after retirement, says Ranchi Rays forward Christopher Ruhr

  • German forward Ruhr spoke exclusively to Sportskeeda ahead of the 2017 Hockey India League.
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Modified 20 Jan 2017, 15:17 IST
Christopher Ruhr
Christopher Ruhr will play for Ranchi Rays in the 2017 Hockey India League

German teams in international sport, on most occasions, embody a style of play that exudes fitness, physical strength, coming together as a group and few flashes of individual brilliance. However, a mere glimpse at the goals scored by German hockey forward Christopher Ruhr will tell you that he has got a bit of the South American flair about himself.

Ruhr’s exquisite pace and stunning goal scoring capabilities will be on display for over a month during the 2017 Hockey India League (HIL), in which he will be playing for the Ranchi Rays.

Ruhr was a part of the German team that won the bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics, losing out to eventual gold medalists Argentina in the semi-final. The youngster, who hails from Dusseldorf, spoke exclusively to Sportskeeda in an interview ahead of the 2017 Hockey India League about his country, career, sporting idols, India and adjusting in Rio de Janerio.

Here are the excerpts from the interview:

How much of a change was it in conditions when you played in Rio? What was the level of adaptation?

It was obviously a big change from the conditions in which we usually play. Be it the hot weather or the big crowds, we encountered a lot of aspects that are usually not present in Germany or, Europe, for that matter. Even if you keep all that aside, the fact that we were playing in the 2016 Rio Olympics was a big thing for a lot of us.

However, after a few minutes on the turf, everything became normal and we enjoyed our game growing.

How did you end up playing hockey, as opposed to other sports that are popular in Germany?

My siblings played hockey, so I kind of just got into it. However, it was so much fun that I fell in love with hockey instantly. I tried playing football for a year but realised that I miss my hockey stick too much, so I stopped football and concentrated on hockey. Hockey has a lot of aspects that makes it so multifaceted and that's what I like about it.

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You grew up in Dusseldorf, which also has an ice hockey ground (ISS Dome), have you ever tried your hand an Ice Hockey?

I was only born in Düsseldorf, but I never lived there. My hometown is Mülheim, where field hockey and rowing are the most popular sports. Rowing was too boring when I tried it. I missed the team factor and I like ball sports way more than other sports.   

Tell us in some detail about your family, education and background?

I have a big family comprising two elder sisters and one elder brother, so I'm the youngest in my family. My father is a doctor and I want to be a doctor, too, when I retire from hockey. I'm waiting to get into university to start studying medicine.

I started playing hockey when I was six years old, made my first under-16 national team appearance in 2008 and my first senior national team appearance in 2012 at the Champions Trophy in Melbourne.

Who were your sporting idols when you were growing up?

It might be a little surprising to you but legendary Germany and Bayern Munich goalkeeper Oliver Kahn was someone I idolised while growing up and the biggest reason for it was his never-give-up attitude. He was always highly focused and so involved in his game, something that I really admire and it gave me a lot of inspiration as well. In fact, I try to inculcate his attitude in my game as well.

What other sports do you watch, if any, and who are your heroes?

I am big sports fan and love watching football, which is quite obvious I guess. I love Bayern Munich. Other sports I love include golf, tennis and Darts. It is crazy fun to watch darts, and especially the crowd, which goes crazy during the game. I am a big fan of Tiger Woods, Martin Kaymer and Roger Federer.

Published 18 Jan 2017, 11:05 IST
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