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Former Soviet Olympic hockey coach Viktor Tikhonov recently in hospital

Viktor Tikhonov

Soviet ice hockey legend Viktor Tikhonov stands on the edge of the scating rink of CSKA ice arena, 26 June 2003. Tikhonov has returned at the age of 73 to coach Russia’s struggling national squad after an eight year absence. The Russian ice hockey federation voted unanimously 25 June to replace Vladimir Plyushev, whose team failed to medal at this year’s ice hockey championship in Finland. Tikhonov has headed Russia’s army club CSKA for 25 years, which dominated the league through most of the Soviet era. He coached the powerful Soviet Union team from 1977 to 1994, except 1993, winning three Olympic and eight word titles, and was elected to the International Ice Hockey Federation hall of fame in 1998. AFP PHOTO/ VLADIMIR BEZZUBOV (Photo credit should read VLADIMIR BEZZUBOV/AFP/Getty Images)

AFP/Getty Images

Longtime Soviet Union national team hockey coach Viktor Tikhonov was in a hospital earlier this week, ranging from a routine check-up at age 84 to intensive care based on varying Russian media reports.

Tikhonov coached the Soviet Union at the Lake Placid 1980 Olympics, where it was shocked by the U.S. in the Miracle on Ice. The Soviets won silver. Tikhonov then led the Soviets to gold in 1984 and 1988 and the Unified Team to the 1992 gold.

Tikhonov’s grandson of the same name played for Russia at the Sochi Olympics.

“He’s just a normal grandfather,” the younger Tikhonov said in Sochi. “Always been really kind, always been really helpful. Obviously, I’ve heard the stories that he’s been a disciplinarian, but I’ve never really got it on me.”

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