KYIV – Anatoli Khorozov, the long-time President of the Ice Hockey Federation of Ukraine, passed away at age 86 on Tuesday around noon in Kyiv.
Born in Korsun-Shevchenkivsky, Khorozov overcame a serious Second World War injury to play every kind of sport, whether it was football, tennis or waterskiing. Yet, despite never playing ice hockey, his ultimate passion was reserved for the game on ice.
When ice hockey was close to disappearing from the Ukrainian sports landscape during the Soviet times, it was Khorozov who was determined to work on the rebirth of Ukrainian hockey. When the Ukraine ice hockey program was introduced in 1965, Khorozov stood at the forefront as President, where he focused on ground-level operations.
Khorozov liked to say: “Never think how to say ‘no’, think how you can help.”
He devoted much time and energy to developing the game in his homeland and was instrumental in starting numerous hockey schools throughout the country including Kyiv, Kharkov and Donetsk, recruiting high-level coaches to teach skills.
Under his guidance, Ukraine’s leading club team Sokil Kyiv made it to the top Soviet league, winning the bronze medal in 1985 – an outstanding achievement considering the league was dominated by Moscow teams CSKA and Dynamo for many decades.
As a hotel director, Khorozov used his business contacts to support local teams and to provide good competition by hosting clubs from Russia.
“After perestroika, ice hockey survived only because of the efforts of Anatoli Khorozov,” Vladislav Tretyak, the President of the Russian Hockey Federationn, said in 2006 when Khorozov was inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame as the only Ukrainian member.
Khorozov was President of the Ice Hockey Federation of Ukraine from 1965 until 1997, during the Soviet times as well as in the first years of independence, and has been an Honorary President since. For this and more, Khorozov truly was the “father” of ice hockey in Ukraine.