I feel you: Depeche Mode's masseur moonlights at Olympics

Ryan Zapolski of the US sprays water on his face at the Gangneung Hockey Center, Gangneung, South Korea on February 17, 2018. (Reuters)
Updated 18 February 2018
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I feel you: Depeche Mode's masseur moonlights at Olympics

PYEONGCHANG: The United States men's ice hockey team just can't get enough of their new Olympic masseur -- he also just happens to be the massage therapist for rock band Depeche Mode.
Peewee Willmann, who soothes the aching bones of the British electro rockers while on tour, moonlights for the American team who are chasing gold in Pyeongchang.
"There is really no big difference between a rock and roll star and a hockey player," said the German -- though presumably there is less sex, drugs and rock and roll at the Olympics.
"A hockey player -- you need harder stuff," added Willmann. "You go in deep on the muscle structure. A lead singer needs more work, something for his voice, something for the mental side (of performing) and I can treat it."
Willmann has worked on and off with USA Hockey for 15 years but was offered a job touring with Depeche Mode after fixing a knee injury suffered by lead singer Dave Gahan, he said.
"Touring with the band is the same as (at the Olympics), said Willmann, who will join up with the eighties stars in Mexico before their South American tour when the Olympics come to a close on February 25.
"We have our own breakfast club, we go swimming every day.
"They are getting older and they know they have done some stupid things," he added.
"It's not the same anymore. The sex, drugs and rock and roll life was in the eighties."


Chechen strongman makes Egypt’s Salah honorary citizen

Updated 23 June 2018
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Chechen strongman makes Egypt’s Salah honorary citizen

  • After his team crashed out of the World Cup, Egypt’s star player Mohamed Salah has won a consolation prize in the form of honorary citizenship of Chechnya
  • Kadyrov, supported by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, rules Chechnya with an iron fist, drawing constant condemnation from human rights groups

MOSCOW: After his team crashed out of the World Cup, Egypt’s star player Mohamed Salah has won a consolation prize in the form of honorary citizenship of Chechnya.
Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov wrote on Telegram that he had presented the Liverpool star with the honorary title while hosting a dinner for the Egypt team, whose World Cup training base is in the Chechen capital Grozny.
“Mohamed Salah is an honorary citizen of Chechnya! That’s right!” Kadyrov wrote late Friday.
“Tonight I signed a decree to grant the high honor to the great footballer who plays for Egypt and Liverpool.”
Kadyrov, supported by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, rules Chechnya with an iron fist, drawing constant condemnation from human rights groups.
He is known as an ardent football fan and in 2013 took to the public address system during a match involving Chechen team Akhmat (formerly Terek) to publicly insult the referee.
Salah has been photographed smiling and clasping hands with Kadyrov during the tournament.
Egypt crashed out of the World Cup after losing to Russia 3-1 on Tuesday, with Salah returning to action for the first time in three weeks following a shoulder injury but unable to save his team. The Egyptians play their final match against Saudi Arabia on Monday.
Kadyrov said that at “a gala dinner that I gave for the Egypt team I presented Mohamed Salah with a copy of my decree and a lapel badge. This is a well-deserved honor!“
The Chechen leader has previously presented French actor Gerard Depardieu with the same honorary title.
He also said that he was confident that Akhmat would play a friendly with the Egyptian national team in Grozny at some future date.
Kadyrov said Salah had praised the “wonderfully warm and good welcome” the team received in Grozny.