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Ice War Diplomat

Nonfiction: Biography
Unabridged   11.5 hour(s)
Publication date: 05/10/2022

Ice War Diplomat

Hockey Meets Cold War Politics at the 1972 Summit Series

Available from major retailers or BUY FROM AMAZON
Digital Download ISBN:9781696602150


Marking the fiftieth anniversary of the historic Summit Series, here is the incredible story of an unlikely political stage—the hockey rink—where a Cold War, and the threat of nuclear annihilation, is no less important than a power play in the final minute. Discover a diplomacy mission like no other: caught between capitalism and communism, Canada and the Soviet Union, young Canadian diplomat Gary J. Smith must navigate the rink, melting the ice between two nations skating a dangerous path.

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Product Description

Tasked with finding common ground and building friendships between the world's two largest countries and arctic neighbors, a young Canadian diplomat finds himself on his first overseas assignment in Moscow, the Soviet capital. It's the early 1970s and a Cold War between communism and capitalism, the west and the east, is simmering—while the ice rink is just starting to heat up. Smith opts for sports diplomacy, throwing off his embassy black tie dress codes and donning the blue and white sweater of the Moscow Maple Leafs.

A vodka-infused encounter with the influential Izvestia journalist "The Snowman" leads him into the murky world of Soviet hockey officialdom, the KGB, and the decision that USSR "amateurs" were finally ready to play Canadian professionals in an eight-game Friendship Series of the best versus the best.

Trusted by each side with unparalleled access to officials, coaches, and players on both teams, Smith witnesses this unique and epic hockey series that has come to transcend time.

The 1972 Canadian-Soviet Hockey Series will go down in history as a pivotal political event, changing the course of two nations and the world of hockey.


“A rare side of the Summit Series story that has never been told. A fascinating insider view of how Canada/Russia ’72 was much bigger than the game.”―James Duthie, TSN hockey host

Author Bio

Gary J. Smith was a diplomat at the Canadian embassy in Moscow in 1972. He was instrumental in making the 1972 Canadian-Soviet Hockey Series happen—and keeping it from falling apart. Smith lives in Perth, Ontario.