A genius who fell in love with his game. 40 years without Valery Kharlamov
Exactly 40 years ago, on August 27, 1981, at the age of 33, one of the most outstanding hockey players in the history of sports, Valery Kharlamov, died in a car accident . A person about whom you can talk and write for hours.
The 74th kilometer of the Leningradskoye Highway near Solnechnogorsk has become a fatal place for everyone’s favorite.
Valery, his wife Irina and her cousin Sergei were returning to the city from their dacha in Pokrovka on their Volga. Irina, who was driving, lost control on the road slippery from the rain. As a result, the car was driven into the oncoming lane, where it collided with a ZIL truck. People who know about cars can imagine what such head-on collisions are fraught with. Alas, all passengers of the Volga died on the spot from their injuries …
“According to TASS, the famous hockey player Valery Kharlamov, thirty-three years old, and his wife were killed in a car accident near Moscow this morning. They have two small children left – a son and a daughter … ”- trumpeted news agencies marked“ lightning ”.
The tragedy that happened to Kharlamov really had a global scale. She was widely written and talked about in Europe and North America, the front pages of newspapers came out with stories about what happened. Condolences in connection with the death of Kharlamov were also expressed by his irreconcilable rivals in the Super Series – Canadian professionals. Rivalry on the ice is one thing, and life outside the playground is quite another.
Valery Kharlamov is truly a genius who fell in love with his game. The icon of sports, which is set as an example for everyone to this day. The two-time Olympic champion, eight-time world champion and 11-time USSR champion as part of his native CSKA did such tricks with the puck that the rivals were often completely at a loss. To cope with the persistence and technique of Kharlamov could only be due to rudeness and outright rudeness. Canadians sometimes did not hesitate to play against the great striker frankly dirty.
The famous Canadian hockey player Bobby Clark, who hunted Valery during the 1972 Super Series, did not hesitate to recognize Kharlamov’s greatness: “I have such respect for this great striker of the Russian team that I am ashamed of the minutes when I hurt him. But we simply were not able to stop Kharlamov by other means … “
For a reason, in 2005, Valery Kharlamov was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. It is important to note that Kharlamov became the second hockey player after Vladislav Tretyak who did not play in the NHL to receive such recognition from world professionals. North America is well versed in hockey and understands the greatness of their rivals without hesitating to acknowledge it.
“Valery has brought to an extraordinary degree of perfection his mastery of three speeds – the explosive speed of movement and maneuver on the court, the speed of the club’s reaction to the slightest change in the game situation and, finally, the speed of thinking, which, I think, is not inferior to the most modern computers. Each of these speeds can be found – albeit only individually – in other cool forwards, but their alloy was, as it were, the trademark of only Valery Kharlamov.
There was nothing above the interests of the team for Valery. And when, before the White Olympics in Sapporo, we, the coaches, asked Kharlamov in connection with a fundamentally new tactical arrangement developed, to part, albeit temporarily, with Boris Mikhailov and Vladimir Petrov , partner friends who understood him perfectly, he did not argue, ” wrote about Kharlamov the master of the domestic coaching workshop Anatoly Tarasov .
Indeed, the brilliant three Mikhailov – Petrov – Kharlamov seemed eternal and indestructible, but sometimes even Valery did not dare to argue with Tarasov.
Alas, of these legendary hockey players, only Boris Petrovich Mikhailov has survived to date. Another great sniper who, no doubt, today honored the memory of his friend and teammate who passed away so early.