The Trials Of Russia's Ice Czar

Hockey coach Slava Fetisov returns to the program that tried to disrupt his life

Patriotism does not flow easily in Russia anymore. And if anyone has a right to shut his heart to Moscow, it is Slava Fetisov. The country's greatest hockey hero throughout the 1980s, Fetisov, 43, won two gold Olympic medals and one silver, seven world championships and the Order of Lenin. Yet Fetisov spent the late '80s being systematically harassed by his government. After being denied, year after year, the right to play in the National Hockey League as he had been promised, Fetisov decided to sue the U.S.S.R. for his freedom.

This was his first act of patriotism: refusing to defect....

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!