|Olympic medal record|
|Men's ice hockey|
Anatoli Vasilievich Firsov (February 1, 1941 in Moscow - July 24, 2000 in Moscow) was a Russian ice hockey left wing and center, who competed internationally for the USSR. He was named the most valuable player in the Soviet hockey league three times.
No one was as selflessly dedicated to hockey as Firsov or as hard on himself and fanatical in workouts. He even augmented the tough drills designated by Anatoli Tarasov. Coming down the ice with the puck, he would perform a variety of hops, skips and jumps at the same time.
Firsov first came to the Central Red Army and coach Tarasov as a scrawny kid-his bones protruded from under the thin layer of muscle. But at training sessions, he strengthened his body by choosing the roughest, toughest defense men as his opponents, Alexander Ragulin and Viktor Kozkin.
Only a person who had a tough time making it in hockey could be so intensely dedicated to the game. I really had it pretty hard, Firsov wrote in his autobiography. There were three kids in the family. My father was killed in the war when I was just a month old. My mother worked as a stoker at the kindergarten, and we didn't have any extra money. I learned how to make my own hockey stick, but with skates it was a much more difficult problem. That's why the leaders of our backyard team put me on the defense line. At that time, defencemen were considered to be second rate players. So kids without skates or a stick, and smaller kids, were put in the position.
- Soviet MVP: 1968, 1969, and 1971
- Soviet scoring champion: 1966
- Soviet goal-scoring leader: 1966
- IIHF World Championships scoring leader: 1967, 1968, 1969, 1971
- IIHF World Championships goal-scoring leader: 1967, 1968, 1969, 1971
- IIHF World Championships best forward: 1967, 1968, 1971
- Order of the Red Banner of Labour (1972)
- two Order of the Badge of Honor|Orders of the Badge of Honor (1965 and 1968)
- A. V. Firsov (1973). To Switch on the Light of Victory (in Russian). Moscow: Fizkultura i sport.
- Anatoli Firsov at CCCP International
- video of Firsov in action, <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vf56X2NT1Ug>
Valeri Kharlamov, Alexander Maltsev
|Soviet Scoring Champion
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