|Helmut Balderis was born on July 31, 1952 in Riga, Latvia. Nicknamed the "Electric Train" for his speed, Balderis represented the former Soviet Union at the IIHF World Championship in 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979 and 1983. He earned three gold medals, one silver and one bronze medal. Balderis also was named the Best Forward and voted to the tournament All-Star Team at the World and European Championships in 1977. He became a professional player in the National Hockey League with Minnesota and later went on to coach in Japan. He coached the Latvian National Team in 1992.