January 29, 2014
Jaromir Jagr of the New Jersey Devils will skate for the Czech Republic at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Like every other athlete headed there, he’s heard about the security concerns at the city and its venues.
But Jagr’s confident that it’ll be safe for the Games.
Q. Foreigners are worried if they will be kept safe in Sochi. You lived in Russia for four years. Were you afraid for your life then, are you worried now?
JAGR: “Afraid-afraid… If you are destined to drown, you won’t be blown up in Sochi. Everyone has his own destiny. Of course, terrorists will want to commit their acts in such a popular place. The entire world will have their eyes on Sochi, and the media will immediately write about it. Every single Olympics or a world championships is at risk – and it doesn’t matter where it is taking place: in Russia, USA or other countries.
“But I am certain that Vladimir Putin and your security forces will do everything possible to ensure safety. Not only because this is your first Olympics since 1980. It’s just Russians are very proud of their country and they don’t want to be embarrassed.
“For God’s sake, anything can happen anywhere. Who saw it coming right before Salt Lake City that on September 11, 2001, two planes will hit the twin towers in New York? Terrorism is very difficult to stop, because these people are not afraid to die. They want to die to draw attention to themselves. But I believe that Russians will do their job well.”
Jagr played in the KHL from 2008-11 with Avangard Omsk. This will be his fifth Olympics.