MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Bill and Dave Christian are the only father and son to ever win Olympic gold in the same winter sport.

They were on the 1960 and 1980 US Olympic hockey teams, the only U.S. Olympic men’s hockey teams to ever win gold. Now they are locked in an international battle to get their Olympic jerseys back from the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.

The Christians said the jerseys were on loan to the hall. The hall said they were donated back in 1981. And the hall, in fact, wrote a letter to Bill Christian in 1981 thanking him for his donation. Bill said he thought nothing of the wording of the letter, something he now realizes was a mistake.

Dave Christian, who was playing professionally for the Winnipeg Jets at the time, said he only found out later that his father had sent his jersey to the hall.

Dave Christian is so unassuming that when I asked him to produce photos of himself playing hockey he said he could not find one. These are modest, humble men who are getting older now. They want these pieces of their legendary Olympic legacy back.

Listening to Bill Christian’s account that he genuinely believed the jerseys were a loan, it is difficult not to believe him. It is also clear that the hall believes they are right. But in the end why would the hall want to display two jerseys knowing full well that the two men who wore them to glory want nothing more than to have them returned so they can be passed on to their children?

Esme Murphy

  1. Tony Rozycki says:

    I was thinking this is a very trivial subject compared to most raised on Esme’s Blog. To be facetious, was planning to suggest cut the jersey in half. Now after a good night’s sleep, I see there are two jerseys & the solution is obvious -give one to each side of the dispute. Case closed. Let’s move on to a bigger issue.