Episode 19 – Soviet Gladiators

Greetings, Comrades!

Today’s episode is dedicated to Sports in the Soviet Union. We gathered what interesting stories we could about the subject, that show the spirit of the times, and put them here. This episode, although a bit short, is still one of the funniest I’ve made. And slightly depressing as usual, but…in the end, it’s about real people stories – and athletes have some of the best one’s to tell. Enjoy!

Soviet speed skater Evgeny Grishin. This picture becomes instantly funny once you listen to the episode.
Soviet speed skater Evgeny Grishin. This picture becomes instantly funny once you listen to the episode.
The Eastern Border
The Eastern Border
Episode 19 - Soviet Gladiators
About Curonian 6 Articles
The humble creator of this podcast - living in Riga, Latvia, and trying to give you the best that I can.

2 Comments on Episode 19 – Soviet Gladiators

  1. Just like the other episodes, I found this one fascinating. Growing up as a kid during the 80s and 90s, it was interesting to see the “other side” of how olympic athletes (and other major sports) were handled in USSR/former bloc countries. We were made to believe that the Miracle on Ice was like the greatest achievement in US hockey and it is really immortalized here. Don’t know if you saw the cheesy Disney movie they made about it, but that is a good example of how Hollywood immortalized that team.

    The other thing I found interesting was how football was so popular in countries such as Georgia and Azerbaijan.

    Keep up the good work!

    PS if you ever make it to NYC let me know and I can show you around!

  2. I remember I read an article about the final game where Fischer won. It was a mess. Seriosuly. By the way it was worded in the article even the american audience were on the side of Spassky (note that it is from a latvian magazine – Ilustreta Vesture (Ilustrated history) and the article was written within the last few years so there is no reason to try and make it seem like americans are trying to cheer for the soviets), cause Fischer was acting more like a rockstar punk asshole, rather than a chess player. If I recall corectly it was best out of 3. 1st game he lost, then he threw a fit and started calling out insane demands and refused to play until they were met and in the end the last final 2 games (as per Fischers request) were held behind closed doors without any cameras… I bet that Spassky was just on the verge of insanity and moral breakdown because of Fischer and thus lost the game.

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