Tatyana Tarasova: “The whole world should be grateful to Russia for the genius Anatoly Tarasov”

Today the State Duma of the Russian Federation hosted the grand opening of the exhibition dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the legendary hockey coach Anatoly Tarasov. Three-time Olympic champion Vladislav Tretyak, daughter of the Olympic champion Tatyana Tarasova, members of the Government of the Russian Federation, representatives of ROC and hockey legends Alexander Yakushev, Boris Mikhailov and Boris Mayorov took part in the ceremony.

December 10 marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Anatoly Tarasov. The exhibition displays photographs from his personal archive and his personal belongings and awards.

“I am happy that I’ve managed to see the moment when, in honour of my father, they organize exhibitions and construct monuments. I am very glad that Lesha (Tarasov’s grandson – ed. note) carefully kept all of his father’s photos and personal belongings. In the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, where I happened to be, it was written in black and white: “The whole world should be grateful to Russia for the genius Anatoly Tarasov.” Thank you for remembering and celebrating the anniversary of my father.

I remember very well how my father retired from work at the age of 54, but he did not quit hockey, launching the children’s tournament Golden Puck. He would add water to the ice rink in his yard to create favourable conditions and all the children would go there. Tarasov did a great job for the country, training young Russian children first, and then players from all over the world,” Tatyana Tarasova was quoted as saying.

The honourable veterans who were present at the ceremony and who were lucky enough to be trained under the guidance of the famous coach, also highlighted the tremendous contribution of Anatoly Tarasov to the development of national and world hockey.

 “He was able to understand not only the world tendencies of the game, but, most importantly, the character of Russians,” pointed out Boris Mayorov, two-time Olympic champion. He demanded dedication, subtlety and improvisation from us. Many did not like Tarasov, and some were offended, but it was he who brought our hockey teams to the highest level.

Under the leadership of Anatoly Tarasov, the USSR national team won the World Championships nine times in a row (1963-1971) and took the Olympic gold three times (1964, 1968, 1972). In 1974, Anatoly Tarasov became the first national coach honoured at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.

“When Anatoly Tarasov came to Finland or Canada, everyone bowed before him,” recalled Vladislav Tretyak, President of the Russian Hockey Federation. “He won the World Championship nine years in a row and trained a multitude of outstanding hockey players. I remember myself being 17 years old and Anatoly Tarasov said: Well, newcomer, are you ready, will you work? If you survive, you’ll play. If not, then you can work in the mine. He believed in me and he was my hockey father.”

“I fully agree with Tatyana Tarasova. Her father made our hockey the best in the world. Thanks to him, ice hockey has become popular with millions of boys across the country,” said Alexander Zhukov, Honorary President of ROC.

“A low bow to Anatoly Tarasov and everyone who worked with him and played under his leadership. The contribution of Tarasov to the development of domestic hockey can’t be overestimated. Starting from the time when players went out to the ice rink in tank helmets and up until this day,” added Vitaly Smirnov, IOC Honorary Member and ROC Honorary President.