Translations by Tomas Jandik
Jagr interview before his return to Washington - "Blesk" daily - 10-Sep-02
HIS LAST NIGHT? WEARING THE ARSENAL JERSEY!
Jaromir Jagr (30) left back for work; the training camps start on Thursday for most of the NHL teams. How did he spend his last night in the Czech Republic? In the arms of his beautiful girlfriend Andrea, whom he won’t see for several weeks? No way! He got lost playing the soccer battles on PlayStation with his friend Lubos Rys. Carrying the colors of Arsenal, Jagr thrashed Rys’ Manchester 5:1!
‘And I actually played with my eyes closed,’ [Jagr] boasted in the morning at the airport.
So are you really that good at playing computer games?
Well, look at them…[kisses his hands]
Have you ever lost to Lubos?
Never! He always forgets his glasses at home [laughter]. But 5:1 is an exceptional result. I can’t give him thrashings like that during the season, he would get bored. I have to win usually by one, two goal differentials.
Why don’t you find yourself a stronger opponent?
Show him to me! [big laughter]
Are you looking forward to going back to America?
Not much. I have spent quite some time here, got used to certain things…
Like sleeping as long as I want to. Now I will have to get up at 8 to go to the practice again. That means I’ll have to change the whole daily regimen. The work begins.
Where is your training camp going to be held? In Baltimore, like the last year?
Yep, we’ll stay at home. At least I hope. See, I haven’t even found out about it yet!
How important is the next season?
Extremely. Nobody in Washington had thought we wouldn’t have been able to make the play-offs. And if it were to happen twice in a row, there would have to be some house cleaning done. Even I could be on a move [again].
The team looks for a new captain. Will it be you?
If they elect me…I told the new coach that I’d be doing everything he would ask me to do. I’m not afraid of responsibility, but I don’t necessarily need to ‘jump at’ the “C”. The point it that I will still need to assume the greatest share of responsibility, whether or not I am the captain. I am the best paid [player].
Have you talked to your new teammate Robert Lang during the summer?
Sure, even though not lately. I still don’t have his new telephone number.
Did you give him any advice regarding where to live?
He was looking for something near the water, close to where I live. But he wasn’t able to find anything, so he will live in the city. It will be a long commute for him to go to the practices.
But the bay is what he, an avid fisherman, must be missing even more…
I’ll let him build a tent on our beach. Cheaply…[laughter]
The last year, as soon as you arrived, the terrorists attached the Pentagon and New York. Will you be remembering the 9/11 anniversary on Wednesday?
Definitely I’ll watch the TV, there should be a lot of programming about it. I just hope that nobody else prepares to remind the Americans about that day. I don’t say it would be the end of the world, but it would be really bad. I am 99% sure, though, that nothing will happen…
Would you fly on an airplane on September 11?
I’ll go to Pittsburgh to pick up some things. But by a car. Definitely by a car. To be safe…
The last year symbolized stepping out of the spotlight for many Czech NHL players. Will the glory return this year?
The last year most of us had some problems. Injuries, their teams did not play well, or they were coping with changes. These days details make the difference. You get injured, lose 10 games, and the top of the scoring race jumps away.
Are you yourself commited to getting your lost position at the top back?
There are two crucial conditions for that – I have to be healthy and play my hockey. Then I should belong among the best again. And the team has to play well. If you win, the goal scoring gets easier, too.
You are leaving just with your mom, without Andrea. Why?
She has an exam in 10 days. She will arrive later.
Have you tutored her, now that you are on a roll after your high school finals?
No way! She would be getting A’s and she would be just like me! [laughter]
Will you show off with your new high school degree in America?
For 10 years, I have been successfully hiding the fact that I had no degree. So I ain’t gonna tell on me now! [laughter]
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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