- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 17, 2008

TWT Ten » Russian-born athletes

In honor of U.S. gold-medal gymnast Nastia Liukin (who was born in Moscow), a list of the top Russian-born athletes:

1. Vladislav Tretiak — U.S. hockey coach Herb Brooks said of Tretiak, “If you score on him, keep the puck because it does not happen often.” He was that good — and his removal from the game helped the United States win gold in 1980.

2. Larisa Latynina — The gymnast won 18 medals (nine gold) over the course of three Olympics (1956, 1960 and 1964).

3. Boris Mikhailov — The eight-time Soviet All-Star in hockey, Mikhailov scored more than 200 goals as the best player on the Red Army national team.

4. Alexander Karelin — The “Russian Bear” was undefeated in international Greco-Roman wrestling competition from 1987 to 2000, before losing to Rulon Gardner. In that time, he won three Olympic gold medals.

5. Sergei Fedorov — Caps fans didn’t see the center at his best last season, but Fedorov has 1,146 career points and is headed to the Hall of Fame.

6. Alex Ovechkin — Caps fans have seen the best of Ovechkin, and his prime is yet to come. Ovechkin won a slew of awards for his scoring dominance, and he may be atop this list in five years.

7. Boris Shakhlin — Though Nikolai Andrianov has more total medals, Shakhlin is considered the USSR’s best men’s gymnast, having captured six gold medals in individual events.

8. Nikolai Andrianov — The gymnast won 15 Olympic medals (eight gold) and dominated world championship events in the 1970s.

9. Aleksandr Dityatin — Set an Olympic record in 1980 by winning all eight gymnastics events. An asterisk is necessary though, as the U.S. boycotted those Moscow Games.

10. Pavel Bure — His downright dominance in the early 1990s with the Canucks has been matched by only Ovechkin among Russian hockey players.


Andy Roddick may be out, but the tennis goes on in Rock Creek Park. Check out the Legg Mason Tennis Classic final. 3 p.m., ESPN2

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