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Taking Notes On Team USA

01/30/2013, 9:30am EST
By Jeff Hawkins

NDIAN TRAIL, N.C. – As he drilled the U.S. National Sled Hockey squad through workouts at the 2012 International Paralympic Committee Sled Hockey World Championships in Hamar, Norway, coach Jeff Sauer noticed a swarm of amateur scouts diligently examining his work.

South Korean coaches and players watched. They shot video. They took notes. They were attempting to learn from the Americans — and gain a competitive edge.

“They were trying to get all of our secrets,” Sauer said Tuesday. “As a team, they came to every one of our practices. They are fairly new to the sport and trying to catch up.

“I was impressed with their diligence.”

As South Korea puts in extra time studying the habits of the powerhouse U.S. team, a seed of an international rivalry is taking root.

Team USA claimed a gold medal after handling upstart Korea in the final of last year’s world championships. For South Korea, it was the program’s first silver medal.

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