Precisely twenty years since the famous triumph of the Czech ice hockey team at the Olympic “Tournament of the Century” the new documentary “The Nagano Tapes” has been shown for the first time. The seventy-three minute long film full of contemporary footage as well as interviews with those who took part in the tournament had a preview showing at the Czech House during the Winter Olympics 2018.
At the world premier on Wednesday 28th February it will be broadcast with Czech subtitles at 18:00 on Olympic Channel, which produced the documentary and broadcasts over the internet or using a mobile phone application, and also on Eurosport. Viewers of ČT Sport will be able to watch the film on 29th March at 20:30, repeated on 8th April at 21:30. For a trailer click HERE.
“For us Nagano is not a place or a host of the Olympic Games, but rather a synonym for success,” said Jiří Kejval, President of the Czech Olympic Committee.
The preview showing at the Czech House was attended by dozens of guests and journalists from several countries. “I am very glad that we could present the film at the Czech House, which is number one at the Olympic Games,” said Mark Parkman, General Manager of Olympic Channel. “The Nagano Tapes documentary is great, so spread the word.”
The documentary is one of a series of five films on powerful sporting moments produced by Frank Marshall, who also worked, for example, on the Indiana Jones films. He saw the final between the Czech Republic and Russia in person at Nagano. “I was aware then that it was not just the team that was united by this encounter, but the whole nation. It was not a dream team, but they believed in themselves, and that is the right way to think at the Olympics. When we were discussing which stories we should tell, this one stood out because in our opinion it transcended sport.”
The producers approached Czech director Ondřej Hudeček. “Most people remember where they were at the time of Nagano. We are better able to recall moments that were highly emotional for us. I was ten and was at my grandparents on the Sunday morning. I woke up a bit late for the match and missed a few minutes. I was annoyed,” says Hudeček. “When a producer like Frank Marshall calls you to say he wants to make a film with you, and in particular about that event, you don’t say no. Even so, I did have doubts for a while as to whether I was the right person. We filmed thirty interviews and selected from 600 hours of footage. I would have liked more time to explain certain details.“
The preview was also attended by gold medallists from Nagano, defender Jaroslav Špaček and goalie Milan Hnilička, as well as television commentator Robert Záruba, who is featured in the documentary along with Dominik Hašek, Jaromír Jágr, Petr Svoboda, Brett Hull, Theoren Fleury, Eric Lindros, Alexej Jašin and many others.
“Nagano attracted many children to ice hockey stadiums. It was a victory that ice hockey had been waiting for,“ said Jaroslav Špaček. Milan Hnilička added: “It was not just Nagano, but also the golden hat trick in the following years; it was the most successful period ever and we started to believe we had found the secret to winning. We stuck together, and even though we were playing in the NHL, we played for the national team when the season ended. We shouldn’t forget that our ice hockey has also experienced difficult times.“
These times – along with the greatest ice hockey triumph – are also remembered in the documentary “The Nagano Tapes”.
More photos here.