“I expect much more from myself.” The Great Jagr is ready to play hockey until he is 50!
Jaromir Jagr’s athletic longevity can only be envied. The great Czech striker has been playing at the highest level for 33 years, and during this entire period he has achieved tremendous success, having won a large number of both personal and team titles. During his long career, one of the two Czech members of the Triple Golden Club (the second is Jiri Schlegr , who was born almost a year earlier than Jaromir and hung his skates on a nail in 2015) played with representatives of several hockey generations and became the second player after Gordy Howe to play in five decades.
It would seem that with such a baggage behind him and an extensive list of all sorts of achievements, one could already think about a well-deserved rest, but Jaromir is not going to end his career! The 49-year-old forward, whose game in the NHL we could have watched three years ago, will continue to play for his native club Kladno next season, where he once took his first steps in adult hockey.
Since returning to the team, in which Jagr is also the owner, in the first two seasons the legendary Czech has gone through a promotion and a demotion with her, this year again getting a ticket to the elite division. At the same time, Jaromir is far from being in the last roles there. Despite the fact that he missed almost half of the regular season, in the victorious playoffs, the striker played all 16 matches and scored 10 points – the fourth highest scoring in Kladno – which is only seven points less than the top scorer, which is notorious Tomas Plekanec .
Nevertheless, Jagr admits that every year it becomes more difficult for him to keep the level, but he is motivated to continue his career by his duty to the club and his father: “Do you know why I still play? I am responsible to the club, otherwise I would not fly here and make a fool of myself. But if I leave, partners and sponsors will leave, and the club may be finished. I have no choice. People don’t understand this, but I don’t care. Only God will judge me. I expect much more from myself and believe that I have a lot of strength.
Believe me, it’s not easy to play. Because mostly during my career I felt that if I wanted to score a goal, I would score it. But suddenly it stopped working.
At the same time, people still expect such results from me, and this is probably the worst feeling when people think that I can, but I know that I cannot. Plus, I can’t even tell them about it. I just know that I am doing my
best to help the club. I don’t know if anyone can understand my role. I don’t even want to be in this position, but I have no choice. While my father is breathing, I perceive the club as my responsibility (the club passed into the possession of Jagr Jr. from his father. – Approx. “Championship” ). He owned Kladno for 20 years. As a son, it would be embarrassing for me to leave, ”the official website of the NHL quotes Jagr as saying.
It is clear from Jaromir’s statement that he will definitely spend the next season on the ice, which means that at least until the 50th anniversary (the Czech will celebrate the half-century anniversary on February 15, 2022) Jagr will finish the game. However, his 38-year-old colleague Tomas Plekanec believes that the upcoming championship will not be the last for Jaromir: “We are joking about the fact that he is still playing. But we don’t have to talk about it. Nobody expects him to play better, but he is still good at most. He can find a role and a place for himself. I wouldn’t be surprised if he plays another two or three years. “
Jaromir himself, back in 2017, being a Florida player, a month before his 45th birthday, announced that he plans to continue playing until the age of 55: “I just changed my mind. Fifty five. I feel so good that I’m ready to play until 55. ”
It will be extremely interesting to see whether the legendary Czech man will be able to implement the plan four years ago. The loss of physical condition, of course, will become more and more significant every year, but Jagr still has the motivation to continue further. In the meantime, he will continue to delight the Czech fans with his game, we can only wish him good health.