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Szczepłek, Stefan

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Rzeczpospolita - Poland | 20/02/2014

No more Cold War in ice hockey

The Russian ice hockey team was unexpectedly eliminated by Finland in the Olympic quarter-finals in Sochi on Wednesday. This was a defeat confined to sports sphere since the players no longer have the task of defending a political system, the conservative daily Rzeczpospolita reasons: "Soviet players like Kharlamov, Firsov and Petrov were once misused as communist standard-bearers. When they won it was as if the bright star above the Kremlin's Trinity Tower would light up. But this world no longer exists. The new Russian players - millionaires from the NHL and the KHL - were among the favourites. But they lost because they simply didn't play well enough. And that, in turn, may be because they grew up after the collapse of the USSR and think in different categories than their parents. Players like Ovechkin will go back to Washington after the Games, not back to Moscow. That alone shows that everything has changed - in ice hockey too."

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