Olympic greats Tretiak, Rodnina light cauldron
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SOCHI, Russia (AP)

One of the greatest goaltenders of all time and an innovative
figure skater who won three straight Olympic pairs titles lit the
cauldron collectively Friday evening at the opening ceremony of the Sochi
Video games.

Vladislav Tretiak and Irina Rodnina had been given the honor of
sparking the cauldron that will burn up during Russia's first
Winter Olympics.

They had been handed the torch by Alina Kabayeva, a former Olympic
champion gymnast who has been linked romantically with Russian
President Vladimir Putin http://www.usaolympicstoreonline.com/dustin-brown-olympic-jersey/, although the Kremlin has denied it. Other
torchbearers in the last group had been wrestling great Alexander
Karelin, pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva and tennis star Maria

Tretiak was a star goalie on the excellent Soviet Union hockey teams
of the 1970s and `80s http://www.usaolympicstoreonline.com/paul-martin-olympic-jersey/, winning gold medals in 1972 http://www.usaolympicstoreonline.com/ryan-suter-olympic-jersey/, 1976 and

But the Hall of Famer only acquired silver after his team was upset
by the United States in the ''Miracle on Ice'' in 1980. In the
1st period of that game, Tretiak permitted two objectives, and Soviet
coach Viktor Tikhonov unexpectedly replaced him with Vladimir
Mishkin in an apparent move to shake up his complacent crew.

''It was tough for me to sit on the bench with the score
2-2,'' Tretiak stated at the Vancouver Olympics in 2010, the 30th
anniversary of the upset. ''If I played the second and third
period, the game might have turned a diverse way.''

Tretiak also was part of ten globe championship Soviet teams.

Rodnina won her 3 gold medals with two diverse partners at
the 1972, 1976 and 1980 Olympics. She also won 10 globe pairs
titles in a row, matching the great Sonja Henie.

She was identified for pioneering moves that produced her the dominant
female pairs skater of her era. Following winning the 1972 Olympic
title with Alexei Ulanov, she won the following two golds with
Alexander Zaitsev.

She moved to the United States in 1990 to operate as a coach and
guided a Czech pair to a planet title Paul Stastny Jersey. Today she is a member of
parliament as a member of Vladimir Putin's United Russia celebration and
an outspoken critic of opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

A tweet of Rodnina's from final year - a photo of President
Barack Obama doctored to incorporate a banana - drew new attention
online Friday. She didn't describe the tweet at the time and later
took down the photograph, but later defended it with another tweet Patrick Kane Jersey,
saying ''Freedom of speech is freedom!''