1972 Summit Series Fans'
September 1972. The Soviet national team has just stunned every Canadian with an impressive 2-1-1 showing on Canadian soil against the best Canada had to offer. As the series shifts to Moscow for the final four games of the tournament, a hostile and disappointed crowd boos Team Canada out of the country.
After expressing their dissatisfaction, Team Canada fans slowly turn their energies to supporting their heroes. Hundreds show up at the airport to wish the players well. Tens of thousands send telegrams and other messages, rekindling the players passion.
And in the most impressive show of support, approximately 3000 Team Canada fans, including as many as 600 from the north-eastern United States, disrupt their personal lives to fly to enemy territory. The Canadian hockey players were not alone on the other side of the Iron Curtain. Deep in the cold heart of Moscow, Canadians were present to cheer on their heroes to an improbably comeback.
The Muscovites were perplexed by the boisterous behaviour of the Canadian fans. Chanting "Da Da Canada, Nyet Nyet Soviet," the fans partied in the stands of the Luzhniki Ice Palace before many of the Soviet dignitaries and upper-class. They waved the Canadian flag, much to the dismay of the Soviet police.
The fans presence made a huge impact on Team Canada's ability to dig down deeper and change the tide of series.
"We wouldn't have won without the fans," said series' hero Paul Henderson. "They were still cheering us like crazy. They'd start singing the Canadian national anthem like crazy and would drown the place out," he said. "It's adversity that binds people together."
While 3000 fans legitimately made the voyage were witnesses to history, there are probably 30,000 people today who will claim to have been a part of it all. It was such a historic event - one of the greatest of our life time.
Creelman MacArthur of Windsor, Nova Scotia was one of the legitimate few who can claim to have been there. And he'd like to relive the experience with others. He is interested in organizing a reunion of the fans who did travel to Moscow. He'd love to share stories and relive the trip of a lifetime.
MacArthur is very much interested in hearing from interested parties about a reunion. If you travelled to Moscow, or if you are interested in sponsoring such a reunion, you are encouraged to contact MacArthur at firstname.lastname@example.org
The reunion idea is little more than idea at this stage, with little more than 1972 Summit Series.com's unconditional support to promote the idea and event in anyway that it can. No logistics have been worked out, but if you have any ideas regarding location, time, events, special guests and presentations, sponsorship and fundraising, and the possibility of expanding such a reunion to include Russian fans, media and the hockey players themselves, please contact MacArthur.
If you'd like to hear about Creelman MacArthur's journey to Moscow, be sure to read Witness To History: An Interview With A Canadian In Moscow .