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Translations by Tomas Jandik
Jagr Interview - Lidove Noviny - 10-Sep-01

You were supposed to leave on Saturday afternoon, but on Friday night you suddenly decided to postpone your departure until Sunday. Why?

I had just one reason – I did not manage to get packed in time.

You don’t mean that seriously, do you?

Well, OK. Originally I thought that the training camp starts in Washington on Sunday, September 9, but on Friday I found out on the internet that we are supposed to meet on Wednesday instead. So I told myself that there is no reason to leave that early and I re-booked my ticket.

How did you spend your last days home?

Without any problems, no rush.

The last week, you were fending off the attacks of the host of “Open Fire” talk show rather bravely. How did you feel when you had to answer one biting question after another?

I have never seen that show, so I had no idea about what to expect. If I had known that the host will be so tough, I probably would have not accepted that invitation. I don’t think I need to subject myself to such unpleasant questioning. I had actually been postponing my appearance on that show, so eventually those TV folks came directly to Prostejov, the site of our training camp. But to make the long story short. When I saw that the whole TV crew arrived, I couldn’t back off. I answered all the questions truthfully, and I think that at the end everything went well. But I am not wondering at all that Ivan Hlinka declined to go on that show.

A year ago at the and of the summer you complained about leaving for the camp being overweight. Did you manage to control your kilograms this year?

I am definitely slimmer than the last year. In fact, I have not exercised my upper body much because I did not want my weight to climb too high. I have to undergo some tests in Washington and I hope not to fail. In Pittsburgh, I have been actually successfully avoiding such tests for eight years – they were just filling all the items with the same values over and over…

During the next couple of weeks, you won’t be able to enjoy the comfort of the home, because you will be living in a hotel. Why did you decide to do that?

I did not want to leave too early just to look for a house. I want to find something during the camp, maybe even during the season. There is no reason to rush, I have plenty of time.

When will your friends or family come to visit you?

I have no idea. Andrea needs to be in the school, so she will come later. And my mom? We’ll see.

Won’t you miss the home cooking that you got so used to while in Pittsburgh?

Well, I guess I will get even slimmer during the next couple of weeks… I’ll be eating in restaurants, what else can I do. I sure don’t plan to starve.

Can you actually cook anything?

I don’t see any problems there. I can buy a lot of finished entrees and just heat them up.

Your former teammate Frantisek Kucera also leaves for Washington. Do you know whether he will be living anywhere close to you?

See, Franta. Hopefully he will be close. He is such a family type, he’s got experience with cooking, that could save me, right? I will suggest him to cook for me right away…

How did you like the recent activities of Canadians who despite the valid agreements decided to hold a four-day training camp for their Olympics candidates?

Frankly, I couldn’t care less – the Olympics are something like five months away. Let the Canadians practice, at least they will be better prepared for the season…

Is there anything you are afraid of in the new environment?

I don’t want to say ‘afraid of’, I just know I’ll have to adjust to some new things ASAP. Adjust to the teammates, coaches, the management, get used to the new support system. Hopefully I’ll manage to do that quickly. But the fact is that I am entering an unknown territory.

Well, not entirely. At least you know the hotel where you’ll live for a while.

The only thing I know right now is that it is somewhere near the practice arena. Hopefully I won’t end up on the streets…

Tomas Jandik is the resident Czech on LetsGoPens.com and is a man who unifies all the goodies of the American dream - meaning, of course, being a Pitt graduate, a Razorback, and a Penguins fan.

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