Features never-before-seen footage and exclusive interviews with some of the game’s biggest names including Hašek, Jágr, Lindros, Hull and Yashin
Select full match replays from the 1998 Nagano Games also available online exclusively at olympicchannel.com
MADRID – The stirring underdog story behind the Czech Republic’s heroic upset at the Olympic Winter Games Nagano 1998 in men’s ice hockey is featured in The Nagano Tapes, the first film in the Olympic Channel’s signature series Five Rings Films. The feature length documentary premieres worldwide on Wednesday, 28 February 2018 on the Olympic Channel at olympicchannel.com and its mobile apps, in addition to telecasts on NBCSN in the United States, Eurosport in Europe and beIN Sports in MENA.
The Nagano Tapes features the men´s ice hockey tournament of the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano, Japan, where professional players from the NHL participated in the Games for the first time. Among the many “Dream Teams”, the underdog squad from the Czech Republic led by Jaromír Jágr and Dominik Hašek stunned the world on its way to a historic gold. Their triumph in Nagano is recognised as a defining moment and a source of national pride at a time of the country’s resurgence.
“When I think of Nagano I think that was the best competition ever,” said Jágr of the 1998 tournament. “When I think of Nagano it means that anything is possible because even hockey players from a small country like Czech Republic could win it.”
Bringing the documentary to life are interviews with some of the world’s best ice hockey players who relive their experience in precise detail including the Czech Republic’s Hašek, Jágr and Petr Svoboda, Canada’s Theo Fleury, Eric Lindros and Marc Crawford (Coach), the USA’s Brett Hull and the Russian Federation’s Alexei Yashin.
The film covers aspects of the lives of Czech hockey players during the Communist regime and the entry of European players into the NHL.
“I worked on my craft to better my life and to have, not only for money, but to have a life that you can explore fully,” said Svoboda about his decision to defect from Czechoslovakia in the 1980’s. “So, I took that chance and I was really excited about just being in a democracy where you can grow as a human being.”
Also addressed are the rumours of Team USA’s unsportsmanlike behaviour following their loss to the Czech’s in the quarterfinals, and the infamous omission of Wayne Gretzky from the shootout in Team Canada’s semi-final loss.
“I’ve lived the rest of my life with the criticism of that shootout,” said Crawford, coach of Canada’s 1998 team. “I know that my epitaph will read on my gravestone, ‘here lies Mark Crawford, the dummy that didn’t choose Wayne Gretzky in the shootout’.”
Directed by Sundance award winner Ondřej Hudeček from the Czech Republic, The Nagano Tapes also features never-before-seen IMAX footage and exclusive International Olympic Committee (IOC) archive material. The Nagano Tapes moniker is a nod to the popular video tapes and VCR’s of the time, while the documentary also uses throwback music and video from the decade keeping with the 90’s theme.
The Nagano Tapes is the first film in the Olympic Channel’s signature documentary series, Five Rings Films, produced exclusively for the global media platform by Hollywood legend Frank Marshall (“Jason Bourne,” “Jurassic World” and “Indiana Jones”) and Mandalay Sports Media (MSM). Five Rings Films is a five-episode series of incisive and entertaining documentaries directed by some of the biggest names in film from around the world.
About the Olympic Channel
The Olympic Channel is a multi-platform destination where fans can discover, engage and share in the power of sport and the excitement of the Olympic Games all year round. Offering original programming, news, live sports events and highlights, the Olympic Channel provides additional exposure for sports and athletes 24 hours a day, 365 days a year in 11 languages. The Olympic Channel was launched in August 2016 in support of the IOC’s goal, set out in Olympic Agenda 2020, of providing a new way to engage younger generations, fans and new audiences with the Olympic Movement. Founding Partners supporting the Olympic Channel are Worldwide TOP Partners Bridgestone, Toyota and Alibaba. The Olympic Channel is available worldwide via mobile apps for Android and iOS devices and at olympicchannel.com.