Pražský Jaro-mír

Byl pozdní večer – první máj –

večerní máj – byl hokeje čas.

Fanoušků zval ku ledu hlas,

kde velký se konal turnaj.

xxx

Je pozdní večer první máj –

večerní máj – je hokeje čas.

Zve k ledu hrám fanoušků hlas:

„Jaromíře! Jaromíře!! Jaromíře!!!“

In my last entry I wrote about what such a small country as the Czech Republic has to offer as far as literature is concerned. However, I would not like the readers to be misled into thinking that it is the only field in which the Czechs are the best. My entry today will be about something completely different.

The International World Championship in Hockey has been going on since 1st May. This year the host of the event is the Czech Republic, namely Prague and Ostrava. The Dutch reader may need some important explanation, as I am not writing about field hockey, in which the Oranje are absolute leaders, but ice-hockey.

As a young person, whenever I went to Slovakia, I noticed that in almost every small average town there were two buildings – the town hall and the ice rink. Maybe I should not have been so surprised because I come from Nowy Targ, where we also have such a place and our team was even the best in the league for many years in the past. But in Poland we have only a few ice rinks and in the country south of us there are thousands of them!

Ice hockey is by far a very prestigious sport as it is one of the few Olympic disciplines as far as team sports are concerned. The main difference between football and ice hockey is the fact that people who play the latter are real men, who are not afraid of real clashes and their second job is not being  actors. As we all know, this is the case with footballers. The earnings are also different. Hockey players do net get as much money as football players. To me, hockey is more spectacular because of its pace.

History has proven more than once that sports results achieved on the world scale can help raise the authority of the country. This is why it will not be a surprise if I write that during Cold War the US and USSR did not limit their competition only to sports arenas. The best proof of that are serious sports challenges and also the smaller ones, passive, such as chess and  the victory of Bobby Fisher over a Russian grand master Boris Spassky.

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The similar situation happened with almost every country which was under the influence of the Soviet invader. The Hungarians lived on water polo and what about the Czechs?

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Hungary vs USSR, so called bloody match, just after Hungarian Revolution, Olympic games in Melbourne, 1956

So, what are the Czechs to say about it? Well, obviously they could only dream about outstanding results in chess or water polo, however, they did have their dark horse – ice hockey. Even though they did not have to prove anything to the Americans, they had much to do so to their Eastern liberators. The match in 1969 became immortal when during the World Championship in Stockholm the Czechs won with the USSR 2:0.

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immortal hockey match in Stockholm, 1969

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Fans of Czechoslovakia demonstrated and supported after Prague Spring, Stockholm 1969

In every political aspect every such a victory was priceless. However, the biggest success was achieved by the Czech in Nagano, during the Winter Olympics, when they fought against USSR successors and won gold, beating Russia in the final 4:3. Undoubtedly, there rose to fame another distinguished representative of the Hašek’s family – Dominik. Apparently, this surname obliges one to stir up some troubles in the world!

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Czech team with golden medals at Olympic Games in Nagano, 1998 During this tournament Dominik Hašek became the best goalkeeper

One wears patriotism in one’s heart or on one‘s t-shirt…

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The captain of the Czech team in this year’s Championship is one of the veterans of the Czech hockey, playing with number 68 –  Mr. Jaromír Jágr. What lies behind number 68? Many wags  say that it has to do with his retirement age, others write jokingly that supposedly 69 had already been taken.  However, it is neither April Fool’s Day nor a situation which makes people laugh so I want to deny the gossip. Because Jagermeister, as his fans call him, may really think about his retirement seriously, but for sure not as a 68- but 43-year-old man.

What, then, lies behind number 68?

Jágr plays with this number to commemorate the events of Prague Spring in Czechoslovakia in 1968. During the invasion of Soviet troops many Czechs lost their lives or freedom. Those who  did not agree with the „normalization“ had to emigrate. In the same year Jágr’s grandfather died in prison. He was arrested by the Soviet army for disagreeing to work on a farm for free.

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Prague Spring

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a small message to Russian troops during the Prague Spring..

Jagermeister is the most effective European player in the elite NHL games, he stands on the same level of Czech brands in the world as Budweiser beer company or Škoda. So far, during this year’s Championship he is the best player of the Czech Lions. On Thursday the Czechs will play in the semi-final and who knows, maybe even now their opponent will be this famous Russia again.

Small info for the fans in Amsterdam:

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Czechoslovak bar at Amstel 14

Česko-slovenský bar in Amsterdam is the only place which gathers Moravian people, the Czechs, Slovaks, Subcarpathian Rusyns, Silesians and even Poles! As there are no boundaries abroad between this or other  Slavdom. Thus, I would like to invite all fans of: – hockey, – golden tasty beer , – zeleňačky, – utopenců, – nakládaného hermelínu or  – the Czech language itself  to come at Amstel!

Tak zatím ahoj!

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Dit bericht werd geplaatst in Polen en Tsjechië, Russisch door raskolmonikov . Bookmark de permalink .

Over raskolmonikov

just Monika, for more information just do not doubt and go ahead straightly with your questions. Briefly, live long fight with chocolate, so far.. Damn it! Let's call it a draw! What I’m doing with my life? briefly, swing it away. But if you would known what this life is doing with me in return!!! I guess, so it goes. I have to admit, I am really good with: - pancakes, although victims had been never found, the same for pancakes, probably I should scratch them sometimes off from the celling, - terrorizing my neighbours and tourists while singing and going into city with my bike, - making tea, well after all I am not so good, but LET'S uncover it - I am fabulous! - knowing not relevant facts - wearing the best unpaired socks, - getting lost in the new city and getting lost in well-known city, - making the same mistakes over and over, hey when I think deeper over it I guess I am quite champion with it, all the stupid things I have said and people I've hurt in my time. I hope it's not my fate to keep defeating my own self and keep repeating yesterday... - getting troubles with my absurd dreams, - loosing keys, mobiles, bikes, - stealing my own bikes, because of loosing keys..., - meeting random people and having small talks, - making brownie, but hey this is reserved only for good friends, so better count for some pancakes instead of - scrabbling letters and word, or world, - sending bottles in the messages and messages in the bottles, - watching all poor films in pathe, as I can not wait for the better one - sleeping during first screening; no, nothing is wrong with me, it is just dark enough and after all first film it is not so important, - oke, even more, it is not j-oke, but it is good day for me so let's r-oke it and maybe later on some kara-oke, - I am good with the deadlines, just deadlines are not good enough with me, but I like questions and answers as well, so let's converse once or two or all stars as well. Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food and etc. Books: - All that ever was written by Kurt Vonnegut and ever might be still published! - Hero of our times! - Dostoevsky (mostly Plaeyer, Crime & Pnishment and of course Brothers Karamazov!) - Kundera - Gogol - Bulhakov - Zajdel - Zosjenko - Astrid Lindgren - Annie M.G. Schmidt -D. Kharms movies: - Kyss mig - Equillibrum - Prestige - Silver linings - Ladri di Biciclette - Volchok

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