For Russia, the Games are a chance to exorcize the ghosts of Vancouver
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Four years ago, when the last winter Olympics came to an end, Russia’s state news agency RIA Novosti captured the nation’s feelings about Team Russia’s medal haul with a headline: NIGHTMARE IN VANCOUVER. Never in its history had the Russian team (or, for that matter, the Soviet one) performed as atrociously at the Winter Games. Viacheslav Fetisov, the Russian hockey legend who served as the Kremlin’s top sports official leading up to those Games, remembers Vancouver as a “total collapse” — and a hard lesson. “We learned a lot,” he says. “And now we have a chance at redemption in Sochi.”
As one of the greatest defensemen in hockey history, Fetisov captained Russia’s bid in 2007 to host this year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi.