It is 1958.
It is 1958. It is the pre-season training camp for the Zenit Leningrad Football team.
Although the team is based in Leningrad, the training camp finds these boys in Sochi. Standing fourth from the left is my Grandfather, Boris Alekseyevich Batanov. He is around 24 years old. He will have 11 goals this season.
He will play in this arena.
St. Petersburg was founded by Tsar Peter the Great on May 27, 1703. In 1914, the name was changed to Petrograd. In 1924, it was changed to Leningrad. In 1991, it went back to Saint Petersburg.
This is what Leningrad looks like in 1958. (scroll)
This is what St. Petersburg looks like today. (scroll)
Leningrad is the birth place of future Russian President, Vladimir Putin.
Here he is with his Mother + Grandmother in the 1950's.
In 1958 he is six years old. (scroll)
On March 27, 1958, Soviet First Secretary Nikita Khrushchev replaces Nicolai Bulganin as Soviet premier, becoming the first leader since Joseph Stalin to simultaneously hold the USSR’s two top offices.
On November 10, 1958, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev delivers a speech in which he demands that the Western powers of the United States, Great Britain and France pull their forces out of West Berlin within six months. This ultimatum sparked a three year crisis over the future of the city of Berlin that culminated in 1961 with the building of the Berlin Wall.
This is Richard Nixon and Dwight D. Eisenhower, the U.S. Vice President and the U.S. President respectively, in 1958.
In 1959, Vice President Nixon will visit the Soviet Union for the grand opening ceremony of the American National Exhibition in Moscow.
He and Mr. Khrushchev will get into a heated exchange now known as the "Kitchen Debate".
Khrushchev will be the first Communist Dictator to visit the United States.
In 1960, my Grandfather will return back to his hometown Moscow, to play for the FC Torpedo. (scroll)
The FC Torpedo Moscow was founded in 1924. Other Moscow Clubs include CSKA Moscow, Dynamo Moscow, and Spartak Moscow. Unlike these other Clubs, Torpedo does not have a hockey team, but they do have football.
My Grandfather's nickname is Bob and years later, fans will create these images.
In 1961, he will play for the Soviet National Team. To this day, competing for your country's national team is considered the highest position an athlete can achieve.
Around this time, he will meet Inna Ilyina, an Ice Ballerina, at a socialgathering.
In 1962, he will marry her.
In 1964, Boris and Inna will have their first and only child.
They will name her Elena.
She will be my Mother.
In the late 1960's, Elena will skate for the first time on the grounds where Torpedo Moscow plays. During the winter the grounds will be flooded with water to make ice.
She will later skate at CSKA Moscow, where she will eventually meet my Father, who will join the very same club, in 1981. (scroll)
He too, like my Grandfather, will play for the Soviet National Team. (scroll)
In 1967 my Grandfather will retire from Football.
This is Boris in 1968. He is 34 years old.
On November 5, 1968, afforementioned Richard Nixon, is elected President of the United States.
Here he is with General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Leonid Brezhnev.
These are the headlines for 1968.
And this is the U.S. pop culture of 1968.