Boris Mikhailov: I don’t like remembering Miracle on Ice

Boris Mikhailov
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The captain of the 1980 Soviet Olympic hockey team talked about being offered a $1 million contract to leave Russia, said the Stanley Cup meant nothing to him and felt a remaining “unpleasant aftertaste,” 33 years after the Miracle on Ice.

Mikhailov made the comments to the Moscow News in November. The outlet translated those comments and posted an English version on its website Thursday.

Here are the highlights:

Mikhailov recalled being offered a contract while in Toronto:

“The owner of the club comes up: ‘Here’s a contract and a million dollars, tomorrow you wear the club’s kit,'” he said. “But behind him stood Vasily Vasiliyev — that’s what we called the people from the security services [KGB]. I did not have any other choice but to answer, ‘Thank you, but we are Soviet millionaires.’

“We had family back at home. How could we go without them, what would we do with them? I didn’t even want to think about it. Secondly, for me the Stanley Cup means nothing. For a long time I refused to be photographed with it, out of principle. The title of USSR champion meant far more. I won’t hide the fact that I had, theoretically, a desire to try the NHL — to see how good I was and to earn some money. We did discuss that with the lads, but no more.”

On the Miracle on Ice and the Lake Placid 1980 Olympics:

“I really don’t like remembering that Olympics. Even today, there’s an unpleasant aftertaste,” he said. “The Olympic village was in a prison, and because of that we never slept properly; every step in the corridor created an echo. Freezing! … Everyone, including the bosses, thought that all we needed to do was to go out on the ice, grab the gold and go home.”

Mikhailov was right. Almost $50 million was spent on the 1980 Olympic Village, which was later to become a prison.

On the actual U.S.-USSR game:

“There were terrible coaches’ mistakes in the game — I think there was no need to change [goaltender Vladislav] Tretiak,” Mikhailov said. “And that’s how the lads and I were left, without a third Olympic victory.”

In the U.S.-Soviet Union game, Tretiak started and gave up a game-tying goal to Mark Johnson on a rebound of a shot from beyond center ice in the final seconds of the first period.

Tretiak was pulled. Backup Vladimir Myshkin allowed two goals on eight shots over the final two periods, and the U.S. of course won 4-3.

Russia names Olympic men’s hockey team captain

U.S. men’s gymnastics team named for world championships

Asher Hong
Allison and John Cheng/USA Gymnastics
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Asher Hong, Colt Walker and world pommel horse champion Stephen Nedoroscik were named to the last three spots on the U.S. men’s gymnastics team for the world championships that start in three weeks.

Brody Malone and Donnell Whittenburg earned the first spots on the team by placing first and second in the all-around at August’s U.S. Championships.

Hong, Walker and Nedoroscik were chosen by a committee after two days of selection camp competition in Colorado Springs this week. Malone and Whittenburg did not compete at the camp.

Hong, 18, will become the youngest U.S. man to compete at worlds since Danell Leyva in 2009. He nearly earned a spot on the team at the U.S. Championships, but erred on his 12th and final routine of that meet to drop from second to third in the all-around. At this week’s camp, Hong had the lowest all-around total of the four men competing on all six apparatuses, but selectors still chose him over Tokyo Olympians Yul Moldauer and Shane Wiskus.

Walker, a Stanford junior, will make his world championships debut. He would have placed second at nationals in August if a bonus system for attempting difficult skills wasn’t in place. With that bonus system not in place at the selection camp, he had the highest all-around total. The bonus system is not used at international meets such as world championships.

Nedoroscik rebounded from missing the Tokyo Olympic team to become the first American to win a world title on pommel horse last fall. Though he is the lone active U.S. male gymnast with a global gold medal, he was in danger of missing this five-man team because of struggles on the horse at the U.S. Championships. Nedoroscik, who does not compete on the other five apparatuses, put up his best horse routine of the season on the last day of the selection camp Wednesday.

Moldauer, who tweeted that he was sick all last week, was named the traveling alternate for worlds in Liverpool, Great Britain. It would be the first time that Moldauer, who was fourth in the all-around at last fall’s worlds, does not compete at worlds since 2015.

Though the U.S. has not made the team podium at an Olympics or worlds since 2014, it is boosted this year by the absence of Olympic champion Russia, whose athletes are banned indefinitely due to the war in Ukraine. In recent years, the U.S. has been among the nations in the second tier behind China, Japan and Russia, including in Tokyo, where the Americans were fifth.

The U.S. women’s world team of five will be announced after a selection camp in two weeks. Tokyo Olympians Jade Carey and Jordan Chiles are in contention.

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Paris 2024 Olympic marathon route unveiled

Paris 2024 Olympic Marathon
Paris 2024
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The 2024 Olympic marathon route will take runners from Paris to Versailles and back.

The route announcement was made on the 233rd anniversary of one of the early, significant events of the French Revolution: the Women’s March on Versailles — “to pay tribute to the thousands of women who started their march at city hall to Versailles to take up their grievances to the king and ask for bread,” Paris 2024 President Tony Estanguet said.

Last December, organizers announced the marathons will start at Hôtel de Ville (city hall, opposite Notre-Dame off the Seine River) and end at Les Invalides, a complex of museums and monuments one mile southeast of the Eiffel Tower.

On Wednesday, the rest of the route was unveiled — traversing the banks of the Seine west to the Palace of Versailles and then back east, passing the Eiffel Tower before the finish.

The men’s and women’s marathons will be on the last two days of the Games at 8 a.m. local time (2 a.m. ET). It will be the first time that the women’s marathon is held on the last day of the Games after the men’s marathon traditionally occupied that slot.

A mass public marathon will also be held on the Olympic marathon route. The date has not been announced.

The full list of highlights among the marathon course:

• Hôtel de ville de Paris (start)
• Bourse de commerce
• Palais Brongniart
• Opéra Garnier
• Place Vendôme
• Jardin des Tuileries
• The Louvre
• Place de la Concorde
• The bridges of Paris
(Pont de l’Alma; Alexandre III;
Iéna; and more)
• Grand Palais
• Palais de Tokyo
• Jardins du Trocadéro
• Maison de la Radio
• Manufacture et Musées
nationaux de Sèvres
• Forêt domaniale
des Fausses-Reposes
• Monuments Pershing –
Lafayette
• Château de Versailles
• Forêt domaniale de Meudon
• Parc André Citroën
• Eiffel Tower
• Musée Rodin
• Esplanade des Invalides (finish)

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