Canada's defeat of the men's hockey team of former Olympics powerhouse Russia is a reminder that post-Soviet Olympians have yet to deliver the showers of golden medals that their USSR-era predecessors took for granted.
A collective groan went up as Russians awoke Thursday morning to discover that, while they slept, their Olympic hockey team – the legendary Big Red Machine – had gone down to ignominious defeat at the hands of the oft-trounced Canadians.
But the disappointment actually started to set in at least a week ago, as the first fully post-Soviet generation of Russian Olympic athletes hit the Vancouver Games, stumbled, picked themselves up, but have yet to deliver the showers of golden medals that their USSR-era predecessors took for granted.
Ms. Rodnina blames complacent sports officials and money-obsessed athletes for the slump. "How can we be successful if there is no proper Olympic spirit among the sports bosses, coaches and athletes?" she says.
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