#CongratsVladislav: Legend of Soviet hockey Tretiak turns 65
Tretiak was the first Soviet hockey player to be elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame, and was the Goliath of the Soviet Hockey team and remains one of the greatest goalkeepers in the history of the sport.
Tretiak discovered hockey after participating in a variety of sports, including basketball, track, and field, volleyball and skiing.
Taking to the ice rink at the age of eleven in 1963, the boy from the Moscow region was already well known in the USSR by the time he turned 19 when he Joined the Soviet Ice Hockey League's First All-Star Team as a CSKA Moscow keeper.
Tretiak played in his first Olympic games in 1972 in Sapporo, Japan, where the Soviet team won gold. That autumn Canada and the Soviets met for a legendary eight-game Summit Series. It was the first time Canada allowed professional hockey players from the (NHL) to compete against the best players the Russians had to offer.
The Soviet Union surprised the Canadian team and the world with an opening game victory, 7–3. While the Canadians won the series that was played in USSR and Canada, the Soviet team became legendary in North America, and Tretiak became the hero of the tournament.
The series that was played during the Cold War, aroused intense feelings of nationalism in the USSR with all members of the team becoming overnight legends.
Tretiak's career exploded after that as he went on to help the Soviet Union win gold medals in the 1976 Winter Olympics, and again winning gold in the 1984 Winter Olympics as well as the 1981 Canada Cup.
Tretiak also helped the Soviets to ten World Championship victories and nine in the European Championships. Tretiak also won thirteen league titles with the Red Army CSKA team and was named MVP of the league five times.
The all-star goaltender retired at the age of 32 in 1984. Three decades after he hung up his gloves, his popularity in the hockey world is undiminished.
While he may never have played in the NHL, Tretiak did receive the highest honor a hockey player can get when he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1989.
In doing so he became the first European-born player without any NHL experience and the first Russian player to join the great American and Canadian players.
Now more than three decades after the end of his career, his loyal fans congratulated Tretiak with his 65th anniversary under the hashtags #Tretiak65 and #CongratsVladislav – with Russian embassies in North America also urging Canadians and Americans to honor one of the greatest keepers of all times.
Following his retirement in the post-Soviet era, Tretiak has been at the helm of the Russian Hockey Federation since the spring of 2006, having assumed the post on his 54th birthday.
The legendary goalkeeper has also been a member of the State Duma since December 2003, chairing the Committee on Physical Culture, Sport, and Youth.