Tatiana Tarasova's mother passes away
SAYING FAREWELL TO A GREAT WOMAN
Tatiana Tarasova called me Sunday night. “Mom is no more”, she said curtly.
Nina Grigorievna, the widow of the great Anatoly Tarasov, passed away at the age of 92. “She lived to old age”, someone could say indifferently. Me, I still can’t take it in.
She was always very young inside. She was so at 70, at 80, and even at 90. She was always tight, active and beautiful. It never took much imagination to see how men could lose their heads over such a woman, or how Anatoly Tarasov adored her over all of their 55 years together.
History often shows us how next to a great man there is always an equally great woman. Having observed the Tarasov family over many years, I’ve often seen how Nina Grigorievna was its real heart. She was very wise, very demanding and very loyal. With such a woman behind him, a man can have courage for any decision. Moreover, he goes through everything for her sake.
Tarasovs’ oldest daughter Galina told me a few years ago, “Dad always felt responsible for everything. For example, he never to his dying day knew that Tanya and I smoked. We hid it because we knew his temperament – he could throw us out of the house. At the same time, he never raised his hand at us. He could get very angry at us. God forbid we ever upset mom! On our father’s eyes, that was the worst sin. He was very protective of her.”
People still remember fondly the Army hockey “Women’s council” that Nina Grigorievna put together when her husband managed the club. Tarasova was very adept at balancing the impulsive and explosive character of her spouse. While he led the team on the ice, she was putting together the hockey family. Everyone could share his problems with her and find understanding and support. Nina Grigorievna herself was from a small town of Epifan where her father was a head doctor of the hospital. Perhaps, this was why she so especially attentive to those who moved to Moscow from the provinces.
“Imagine”, Tatiana Tarasova told me a couple of years ago. “Mom is already 90, but she gets me up every morning with her ‘Movement is life. Tanya, get up, let’s go for a walk’. She still follows sport, reads all the newspapers, and discusses it all with us”.
I often witnessed Nina Grigorievna’s desire to be in the know. About five years ago, I published an interview where a rather mediocre hockey player from Tarasov’s days mentioned the coach’s name in a negative context. Nina Grigorievna immediately called me to complain – why publish a lie? This man knows exactly why he was sanctioned! Does he think no one remembers anymore?!
Even a decade after her spouse’s death, Nina Grigorievna still came to his defense.
She was equally demanding of her daughters. To her, the concept of “family honor” had a very real meaning.
When doctors discovered Galina had an advanced stage of cancer, the family decided not to tell the mother. Both daughters well understood that Nina Grigorievna wouldn’t live through that. Last December, though, Galina passed away.
Having buried her oldest daughter next to her husband on the Vagankovo cemetery, Tarasova started withering away. She still took good care of herself and asked that people read to her as she couldn’t do it herself because of loss of vision. You could still her steal character behind it all. According to Tatiana Anatolievna, it was her mom who helped her go on a very strict diet and keep it diligently over several months.
When I heard it from Tatiana Tarasova back in late August, I thought for the first time that she didn’t take after her father in terms of character. Rather, she inherited Anatoly Vladimirovich’s creativity and ability to “see” the athlete and lead him to victory. It was her mother who gave her that unbending steal core.
Rest in peace, Tatiana Griorievna!
My deepest condolences to Tatiana Tarasova and her family. It was a terrible year for her.
How sad—to lose her sister and her mother in one year. My sympathies to Tarasova.
Ptichka, can you enlighten us non-Russians on the Tarasov family? I didn't know anything about them until this article. Am I right in concluding that Mr. Tarasov, TAT's father, was the head of the Soviet national hockey team? I'd love to hear more on the topic. Thanks for the translation.
Anatoli Tarasov was a real legend. Here's the Wiki on him - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anatoli_Tarasov. He was really the person who made Soviet hockey what it was. He was also quite ruthless and made many enemies in the process. According to Tarasova, he was put aside because he wouldn't compromise and wouldn't say what was needed; another view on this is that his harsh methods were no longer deemed appropriate. I believe the truth is somewhere in the middle, a little closer to Tarasova's version. After being fired, he was offered a job by Canadian hockey league; he refused, not being able to envision himself outside his homeland; towards the end of his life, he (according to Tarasova) questioned this decision. I have quite a lot on Tarasova on my blog; one typical interview where she talks about her father is http://ptichkafs.livejournal.com/18534.html, scroll down to "Nevertheless, Anatoly Vladimirovich didn’t consider you his colleague for a long time."
Waiting for on-ice perfection.
My most sincere condolences to TAT. It's been a rough year for her. I hope she finds peace of mind & therapeutic happiness in what uplifts her the most -- her students on ice.
Beliver in Sasha's Perfect Program
How sad. I hope Tatiana finds the strength the continue coaching the way her mom would have wanted.
Thanks so much, Ptichka.
Originally Posted by Ptichka
I'm sorry to hear this, I read about it the other day.
This whole year must have been very stressful for Tatiana, with all her health problems, and taking care of her mother, et al, as I recall reading about it at the beginning of last season.
My heart and prayers are with her and her family, and I apologize for being rough on her when Mao debuted her program last season. She only wants the best for her, as do I.
Thank you, Ptichka.
I am very sorry that Tatyana Anatolyevna is suffering two such great losses within a year. This must be a very heavy thing for her to bear, and she has my sincerest condolences.
Always, her work has been the best medicine for her, and I hope that this will prove to be the case again.
Figure Skating Fan
I am so sorry to hear of Tatiana's loss of her mother. May she rest in peace and Tatiana finds the strength to go through this sad period of life.