Skip to content

Past Soviet Olympic champions to hockey team: ‘Don’t let Russia down’

Nov 18, 2013, 10:38 AM EDT

Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE

How’s this for added pressure on Russia’s Olympic Hockey Team?

A group of 16 past Russian Olympic champions posted an open letter on the nation’s hockey federation website with a clear message.

“The whole country will cheering and fearing for you,” it read, according to an R-Sport translation. “In our time, we did everything for victory, we brought glory to the USSR, our people and our sport. Don’t let Russia down, guys! We are behind you and we are with you!”

Russia has not won an Olympic hockey medal since a bronze at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games, and it has never won Olympic gold. The Soviet Union won all but two Olympic hockey tournaments from 1956 through 1988, and the Unified Team won gold in 1992.

The men’s hockey gold might be the most coveted medal for the host nation come February, just as at the Vancouver Games. The home-ice advantage will certainly help Russia. Neither Canada nor the U.S. won medals at the last two Olympics held outside North America (1998 and 2006).

Russian Hockey Federation president Vladislav Tretiak, the legendary Soviet goalie who was one of the group of 16, made an interesting comment about the roster deadline.

This would give Hockey Canada more time to gauge Steven Stamkos‘ return from injury and for the U.S., Canada and Russia to sort out their goalie situations, too.

Brodeur plays way into Olympic conversation

Latest Posts
  1. Beijing Marathon run through smog (video, photos)

    Oct 20, 2014, 8:54 AM EDT

    ATHLETICS-CHN-MARATHON-BEIJING Getty Images

    U.S. Embassy scale had air pollution level at “hazardous.”

  2. IOC wants ‘full explanation’ from Russian about ‘Williams brothers’ comments

    Oct 20, 2014, 8:37 AM EDT

    Shamil Tarpischev Getty Images

    Shamil Tarpischev, Russian tennis president, is also a longtime IOC member.

  3. Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale have Olympic 100m final speed, Liverpool manager says

    Oct 20, 2014, 8:26 AM EDT

    Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale Getty Images

    How fast would they have to traverse the Bernabeu to have Olympic 100m final speed?

  4. Aksel Lund Svindal injured playing soccer, likely out most of season

    Oct 19, 2014, 10:30 AM EDT

    Aksel Lund Svindal Getty Images

    How top Americans, Austrian going for history will be affected this World Cup season.

  5. Shaun White brings Air & Style event to Rose Bowl

    Oct 17, 2014, 2:50 PM EDT

    Shaun White Getty Images

    Two-time Olympic halfpipe champion won’t be competing, though.

  6. Michelle Kwan, Sarah Hughes opine on skating to lyrics

    Oct 17, 2014, 10:54 AM EDT

    Michelle Kwan Getty Images

    Top U.S. skaters are incorporating new rule into their programs this season.

  7. Oscar Pistorius’ sentence expected Tuesday

    Oct 17, 2014, 9:41 AM EDT

    Oscar Pistorius Getty Images

    Runner faces up to 15 years in prison.

  8. Justin Gatlin not among IAAF Athlete of the Year award finalists

    Oct 17, 2014, 6:48 AM EDT

    Justin Gatlin Getty Images

    Gatlin’s inclusion on previous 10-man nomination list drew criticism.

  9. Noelle Pikus-Pace: I already miss skeleton, but happily retired

    Oct 16, 2014, 4:34 PM EDT

    Noelle Pikus-Pace Getty Images

    Olympic silver medalist has an interesting post-skeleton bucket list.

  10. Simone Biles still buzzing after World Championships whirlwind

    Oct 16, 2014, 11:24 AM EDT

    Simone Biles Getty Images

    Biles recalls bee tale, talks of specific vault upgrade, uneven bars hatred.

  11. J.R. Celski not on U.S. short track team for World Cups

    Oct 16, 2014, 7:45 AM EDT

    J.R. Celski Getty Images

    Three-time Olympic medalist previously said he was taking a break.

  12. Simone Biles returns home to pack of gymnasts (video)

    Oct 15, 2014, 2:44 PM EDT

    Simone Biles

    Biles talks about the bee and what’s next.

  13. Ryan Lochte makes teen swimmer’s wish come true

    Oct 15, 2014, 12:10 PM EDT

    Ryan Lochte Getty Images

    Erik Nieman, 15, flew from Arkansas to Charlotte for a special training session.

  14. Gracie Gold calls audible, adds lyrics for post-Olympic season

    Oct 15, 2014, 10:12 AM EDT

    Gracie Gold Getty Images

    U.S. champion makes her Grand Prix season debut at Skate America next week.

  15. Armin Zoeggeler retires from luge

    Oct 14, 2014, 1:06 PM EDT

    Armin Zoeggeler Getty Images

    Zoeggeler made history with his sixth medal in Sochi.

  16. Meryl Davis, Charlie White look to uncertain future in ice dancing

    Oct 14, 2014, 12:56 PM EDT

    Meryl Davis, Charlie White Getty Images

    Olympic champions won’t consider competitive future until the spring.

  17. Shannon Szabados could start season opener in men’s league

    Oct 14, 2014, 10:56 AM EDT

    Shannon Szabados Getty Images

    Canadian Olympic goalie returns to Columbus Cottonmouths. Season starts Oct. 24.

  18. Anne Schleper skates with Tampa Bay Lightning

    Oct 14, 2014, 10:26 AM EDT

    Anne Schleper

    Lightning coach: “If [my daughters] look at this and are like, ‘You know what, I’d love to play hockey,’ then it’s paying off.”

  19. Katie Uhlaender taking break from skeleton this season

    Oct 14, 2014, 9:46 AM EDT

    Katie Uhlaender Getty Images

    Three-time Olympian needed ankle surgery, according to the AP.

  20. Haile Gebrselassie on sub-2-hour marathon: ‘Maybe in 10 years’

    Oct 14, 2014, 9:24 AM EDT

    Haile Gebreselassie Getty Images

    Gebrselassie continues to become more confident that barrier will be broken.