Sergei Fedorov became a man larger than life.
He was one of the flashiest and best hockey players of his day, paid millions and millions of dollars. He was known outside of the game for fast cars, nice clothes and his relationship with tennis sex symbol Anna Kournikova (and Tara Reid and Danielle Meers, for that matter).
There was a time when Sergei lived a much simpler life. The Russian was born in Pskov, just outside of what we now call St. Petersburg, but he grew up in Apatiti, a town literally north of the Arctic Circle. He learned to skate on the frozen rivers, and before he was a teenager was playing in the local adult hockey league, with his father Viktor as the center.
Word of Sergei's incredible hockey ability traveled fast, even from the Arctic. By the age of 13 his family agreed to let him move to Minsk, in what is now known as Belarus, to attend a special sports school to hone his hockey skills. It would not be long before he was relocated again, this time to Moscow to train with the Red Army and the famed Russian national team.
The national team and father Viktor pushed Sergei because they all knew he was a true hockey prodigy, somebody who very possibly would one day be considered the greatest hockey player from Russia ever. Remember, this was still in the days of communist Soviet Union where a star player like Sergei was essentially developed to be part of the superiority propaganda machine of the Kremlin. It was very important that Sergei and others become the best hockey players possible.
Here's the full Sergei Fedorov biography