In memory of legendary coach Viktor Tikhonov
Members of the Russian ice hockey community and Moscow residents gathered inside CSKA’s hockey arena to pay their respects to Viktor Tikhonov who died in Moscow at the age of 84 on Sunday after a long illness.
Viktor Tikhonov who coached the Soviet Union and Unified Team achieved the outstanding results:
Three straight Olympic triumphs: Olympics gold in 1984, 1988, 1992; silver in 1980
Eight world championship titles : World Championship gold in 1978–1979, 1981–1983, 1986, 1989, 1990
1979 Challenge Cup – series of the games between USSR and the best Canadian players.
He won 1981 Canada Cup - a competition which pitted the best players from the top hockey-playing countries.
Coaching the most famous USSR team CSKA he won 12 straight Soviet Union Championship titles (1978–1989)
Tikhonov was born in Moscow in 1930 and played defence in Russia's top professional league, winning four championships from 1951 to 1954. He played for two different teams: the Soviet air force team, known as V.V.S., and Dynamo Moscow.
In 1964, he became an assistant coach for Dynamo Moscow, and in 1968, he was an assistant coach for the national team. He then became head coach of Dinamo Riga, a Latvian team, which quickly improved under his guidance.
In 1977, after the Soviet national team had lost to Czechoslovakia for the second straight time in the world championships under Boris Kulagin, Tikhonov replaced him as head coach, and he was also named head coach of C.S.K.A. Moscow, the army team.
Interestingly – Yuri Andropov twice offered those two positions as head coach to him, but Tikhonov rejected those offers at first. And only after some period of time Viktor Tikhonov took the proposal.
Yuri Andropov at that time was chief of KGB and later on he became General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
The honors for the impact he had on both Russian hockey and the international game are legendary. He is in the International Ice Hockey Federation Hall of Fame as a builder and is also a member of the Russian Hall of Fame. He is also an Hounoured Master of Sport.
Viktor Tikhonov, the domineering coach of the powerful Soviet national hockey team known as the Big Red Machine that won everything in the world!!
His grandson Viktor plays for SKA St. Petersburg in the Kontinental Hockey League and was a member of the Russian Olympic Team at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. He also played 61 games for the Phoenix Coyotes in the NHL in 2008-09.