Ice hockey legend Dominik Hasek has made his return to the rink, but this time on a sledge. Highly regarded as the world’s greatest goaltender, the former National Hockey League (NHL) star tested his skills in Para ice hockey ahead of its World Championships in April.
The Championship action will take place in his own backyard in Ostrava, Czech Republic, from 27 April – 4 May.
An official launch event was held on Friday (18 January), which Hasek took part in to promote Ostrava 2019.
Nicknamed “The Dominator,” Hasek was not the only one to give Para ice hockey a go. Young Czech players as well as players from the Czech ice hockey club Vitkovice Ridera took to the ice.
“I’m glad the World Championships organisers approached me,” said Hasek. “I didn’t hesitate for a minute and decided to become an ambassador for this project.
“My admiration is mainly for the boys who, despite adversities, managed to challenge themselves and put on Para ice hockey,” continued Hasek, who won Stanley Cup titles with the Detroit Red Wings in 2008 and 2002.
He also played for the Czech national team, helping his side win Olympic gold at Nagano 1998 and bronze at Torino 2006.
“I’m curious about the battles that will take place during the Championships. I’ll come to see watch it.”
Tomas Macura, Mayor of Ostrava, also took part in the event and expressed the city’s enthusiasm with the Worlds returning to town after ten years.
“The World Championship can be an inspiration for people with disabilities and a guide on how to spend time leisurely and actively. We support citizens with disabilities on a long and systematic basis, in the form of subsidies to organisations that help them,” said Macura.
More information on the World Championships can be found on the Ostrava 2019 website.