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Translations by Tomas Jandik
Jagr in Omsk: Russia has changed me. I am no longer afraid people will laugh at me - 13-Sep-10
http://translate.google.com/translate?js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&sl=cs&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fhokej.idnes.cz%2Fjagr-v-omsku-rusko-me-zmenilo-uz-se-nebojim-ze-se-mi-nekdo-bude-smat-10b-%2Fevropa.asp%3Fc%3DA100912_125709_evropa_lge

[This is the second half of the interview. For the Google-translated full interview, click the link]

You have lived in Russia for three years and you donít hide that you like it there. Whatís so magical about it for you?

I can see that people will criticize me for what I am about to say. But I think that our older generation has a certain block, aversion against Russians because of Communists. That will not disappear easily. However, I believe if people had a chance to live here in Russia, they would change their opinions. Russian hearts are big. Those who say otherwise do not know what they talk about, they havenít been here. Or they had bad luck and met some bad people.

Will you miss those big hearts?

Maybe I'll stay here {laughter}.

Wait, donít say that, or my headline will be ĎJagr wants to stay in Russiaí!

No, no, donít write that. What can I say? I will miss them, but I can fly there anytime.

Do you think Russia has changed you?

{long pause} Probably the most in the position toward the church and faith. I have always been strongly religious, but when you admit that in the Czech Republic, people almost think you are crazy. Here I am not ashamed about that, thatís the biggest change. I feel that this is me. I am no longer worried that people will laugh at me. I lost my shyness to reveal my opinions regarding this. In Russia, people almost think you are crazy if you are not a believer.

That difference can be illustrated by the fact that before the season start, your locker room got consecrated by the Patriarch [of the Orthodox Church]. In the Czech Republic, some players would probably laugh about that.

And here [the players] directly asked for it! It is the part of hockey here. Humility toward something greater, respect. Devotion. Those things work here.

What else makes Russians different?

The fact that they respect successful people more. Did you see the applause Dominik Hasek drew before the game? Not in Moscow, here in Omsk.

I saw that. He had bigger ovation than many of your own players.

Here in Russia it has always been like that. A person who achieved something big is appreciated by the people a lot. And those who are in charge and manage things are valued. Back home itís the opposite. I donít remember people ever to get up and to clap when some person of authority visits. They get booed or whistled at.

Maybe itís about how politicians in the Czech Republic act, donít you think?

I know that people will now berate me and say ĎWell, he is just yapping about that Ė he doesnít live here and doesnít know what those people do.í But, dammit, we elected those people! So we should have faith in them and stand behind them. Instead, we are immediately against them and wait for their mistakes. Nobody is perfect, but it is necessary to have some trust and respect for people.

Isnít this a unique characteristic of big countries? Regarding the respect toward the successful ones, isnít Russia similar to, say, America?

Over there [in America] it is even stronger. I think everything is determined by education, and by what a person believes in. If one wants to be reputable, then he must learn to respect reputable people. If he wants to be a winner, he must respect winners. Thatís why every time I win something I want the others to shake my hand. So that they have a chance to win as well.

Successful people in Russia like to demonstrate their wealth, they want admiration. Isnít it excessive sometimes?

Russians are accustomed to the fact that if you have something, youíd simply show it. Especially in fashion. Somebody may look like a clown, be dressed in something checkered, but the point is to show the Dolce&Gabanna label. Thatís normal here.

Have you met with such envy in Russia as in the Czech Republic?

It is everywhere where people are. Itís simply inside of us. Happy is a person who doesnít envy. Here [in Russia] itís maybe just a little less.

Are you a happy person?

Nobody is 100% happy or absolutely brilliant. But the important thing is to consider that when you are jealous, you damage yourself. Not that other person. That envy will not help you. To the contrary, you impede yourself. Not everybody can realize that.





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.

Back to Tomas' Translation List


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