Jágr: It is going to be a big mission for me

2004 IIHF World Championship in native country does not appear to Jaromir Jagr as some nice holiday, nor some happy hour. This hockey star is taking this as challenging test, serious call: “It is my mission.”



In few days you will enter into your first and the last Championship in your native country. What is your biggest excitement?  The initial start in the arena? The first goal scored?

I would not say I am very excited. This is not a vacation for me, but big battle. I didn’t come here to have fun. There are lots of worries. The fun will come only if we succeed. If... (in some doubt)


So you take the Championship as though mission?

Of course, I am. Literarily, twenty hockey players go to the battle for their country. I know, it is not a war, it is a sport. However, are loss means so much to us, and also to people who believed in us.


None of the host team won the championship since 1986. Isn’t the gold medal for The Czech Republic something like “Mission Impossible”, therefore unrealistic task?

It is common that people like to dream. Who doesn’t dream, has no satisfaction in life. However, the reality is different. The hockey world is so competitive. There is no longer a way that you can say a team will win the tournament on 80%. Approximately eight teams have the same chance.


What is the worst memory you have as representing your country?  Is it the failure on the World Championship in Italy in 1994, or the World Cup?

At that time I was a young man and it didn’t get to me that much.


According to many people your career is slowing down. Jagr is no longer what he used to be.

You go by numbers. Those are lower, but the game changes. And in Washington I didn’t have the support that I used to have in Pittsburg, where everything was played through me. It should get better in New York.


Does the transfer to New York Rangers and the Prague Championship means a positive breakpoint?

If I’m able to practice like before. The older I am, the more tired I get and more time I need to rest.


Who is going to be your biggest fan at the Championship? Relatives, friends?

Probably my family. My dad, mom, and sister. Without them I won’t be who I am. They adapted to me , so I can be a star. For my dad the Championship will be finale. Too bad, we didn’t play five years ago, when I was in a better shape.

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