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Rambler's Top100

19 декабря 1997 года.
Titov answers all challenges

By MARK MILLER -- Calgary Sun
  They made him quit hockey once.
 Gave him sergeant stripes on a natty uniform, an artillery gun and 12 soldiers to command, and posted him in the middle of Nowhere, Russia for three years.
 German Titov knows hardship.
 It's not playing hockey. It's life without hockey.
 When Titov was benched earlier this season for four games, he did not demand a trade. He did not complain.
 Because he knows worse.
 He dug in his boots and fought back.
 On the ice. Like a man.
 A month later, Titov's name is right there with the game's best for longest points scoring streaks this season. Nine consecutive games with a point, the longest current streak in the NHL.
 On the NHL stats page, right below the names of Teemu Selanne, Peter Bondra, Pavel Bure and Mark Messier lies the name of the real Russian Rocket.
 "Oh, yeah, we fired big shells but no rockets," laughs Titov of his three-year exile to the Russian military from 1983-86.
 Perhaps it was because of that exile, but Titov was never a great Russian player. The Flames drafted him in the 10th round , 252nd overall, in 1993 on a chance.
 He is arguably the team's best late draft choice, after Theo Fleury who went 166th in 1987.
 "I would be working in construction or plumbing or something if my old coach did not give me one more chance," said Titov, who emerged from real hardship to play the sport he loved.
 It has always been for him a game.
 Earlier this season, Brian Sutter challenged Titov.
 He has responded, but not to the surprise of Sutter.
 "He accepts responsibility and that's a big part of this game. He has lot of pride," said Sutter after last night's loss.
 "Pride is a big word. He's been through so much and saw so much, it's like I tell these guys. This game is a small reflection of their lives.
 "If you bail out and let your teammates down, you are going to do that away from the rink. Obviously he's been through those things and paid his dues.
 "There are special people and he is one of them."
 Titov takes his latest success in perspective.
 "A lot of people maybe thought I was too old this season," said the 32 year old. "I know I can still play. I have had problems before and I play hard to get better.
 "But hockey is my job, a business and I want to do that for more years."
 Away from the rink, Titov is a family man. He's a private, quiet soul on the road, in part because his frequent attempts to master English have failed. He gave up the English books last season, despite the urgings of former teammate Robert Reichel to keep at it.
 At home, he and wife Tatjana have three young daughters, including two-year-old twins Alexandra and Valerie and nine-year-old Victoria, a karate student.
 "Oh yes, it is very busy at home," laughs Titov.
 "But the girls like hockey. Each day, I go to the rink they ask 'Daddy goal? Daddy goal?'
 "It's not hockey for them, they call it 'goal.'
 "They like it so much maybe they will play women's hockey now it is in the Olympics."
 If they do it will be because dad has given them that opportunity though the game he loves.
 And his refusal to quit in the face of adversity, on and off the ice.

Страничка Германа Титова на сайте "Звёзды с Востока"


"ЗВЁЗДЫ С ВОСТОКА" @ c 1997 года