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Jaromir Jagr Biography

Turned Professional, Drafted By The Penguins, Improved As A Pro, Breakout Season, Traded To WashingtonSELECTED WRITINGS BY JAGR:


Czech hockey player

Playing with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Czech Jaromir Jagr established himself as one of the greatest, most dynamic scorers in the National Hockey League (NHL) in the 1990s. Though he had a reputation for being temperamental and moody, and letting these aspects negatively affect his game, the right winger was still a star. He won two Stanley Cups with the Penguins his rookie and sophomore seasons, as well as a gold medal with the Czech Republic at the 1998 Winter Olympic Games. Jagr forced a trade to the Washington Capitals in 2001, where he did not play as well as he had in Pittsburgh.

Jagr was born on February 15, 1972, in Kladno, in what was then Czechoslovakia, the son of Jaromir (a coal mine administrator and farmer) and Anna Jagr. Both his grandparents and parents suffered under the Communist regime that ruled his country at the time. Both of his grandfathers were jailed for some time. When Jagr became a professional, he wore the number 68 in honor of the Prague Spring, the failed 1968 attempt of his countrymen to rid themselves of the Soviets.

Hockey was one way of getting a better way of life in the Communist country. Jagr began skating at the age of four, and soon became consumed by hockey. As a child, he played on three different teams, usually against older players to improve his skills. When he reached the age of eight, he was playing in multiple games on weekends after practicing for hours daily. His skills attracted much attention, and he was raised in the Czechoslovakia system that produced many future NHL players. One of Jagr's heroes as a teenager was future teammate and consummate goal scorer in his own right, Mario Lemieux.


(With Sam Staid) Jagr: An Autobiography, 68 Productions, Ltd., 1999.

Sketch by A. Petruso

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Famous Sports StarsHockey