Other guests at the pre-premiere screening included Soviet hockey stars Alexei Kasatonov, Sergei Makarov, Vladimir Petrov, Vladislav Tretyak, Vyacheslav Fetisov and the son of the famous hockey player, Alexander Kharlamov, as well as members of the Russian national junior hockey team.
The screening was also attended by International Olympic Committee Coordination Commission Chairman Jean-Claude Killy, President of the International Ice Hockey Federation Rene Fasel, figure skating coach Tatiana Tarasova, filmmakers and actors that play the main characters.
After the film, Vladimir Putin thanked the filmmakers and shared his impressions with the athletes. The President also congratulated one of the young hockey players on his birthday and gave him a wristwatch as a present.
Valery Kharlamov (born in 1948, died in a car accident in 1981) was an outstanding Soviet hockey player, a left-winger for the USSR national team (1969–1980), two-time winner of the Olympic Games (1972, 1976) and eight-time winner of the IIHF World Championship.
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Speech before screening of Legenda No. 17
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Dear guests,
Our national junior team consists of young men under 18 years of age, and tomorrow is the start of the World Junior Ice Hockey Championships. We felt that today is the right day for presenting this new film made by our cinematographers about our outstanding hockey player.
I am confident that everyone present here today knows who Kharlamov was and knows why he is referred to as Legenda No. 17. But I don’t think that everyone (other than members of his family and others whom we also rightly call world hockey stars) knows that the main feature that made him a legend was his character. Because when he was a child, doctors gave him a grave diagnosis: a heart disorder. Not only did he overcome this, he became an outstanding player both on our team and in world hockey.
There are many people here who worked with him, who – I can say without exaggeration – fought with him, trained with him and trained him. I mean there are no outsiders here, no people who don’t understand what ice hockey is all about.
I am sure that once this film is released to the general public, it will be popular among hockey fans, sports fans, and others who are simply proud of our nation’s achievements. And Kharlamov was one of those who demonstrated our nation’s successes and its greatness.
Tomorrow, our junior hockey team will begin competing in the world championships. I am confident that today’s event, the screening of this film, will motivate our young players to represent our nation with honour at the championships.
And I would like to thank the creative team for taking on this work and, judging by responses from experts and critics, doing an excellent, artistic job. Today, we will see for ourselves if it is true.
Let’s all thank them.