In fact during that period the Soviet Union was strong in hockey, so maybe the trend is back. They have the money now for the hockey players.But it's interesting to note, before Petrenko and Urmanov, the Soviet Union/Russia didn't have any men's Olympic champions. The line went Sweden-Austria-USA-UK-USA again-Russia. Perhaps it's simply the end of an era (Plush held the fort as long as his body possibly could, and it nearly got him paralyzed).
I think USA has some very good young ladies, like Gold and Edmunds.But Russia looks poised to become the next USA in ladies, especially since the USA itself is struggling there.