Czech hockey legend Jaromír Jágr to play Prague game in support of Ukraine

The 50-year-old hockey star will bring his Kladno Knights to Prague on Tuesday, March 8, with all proceeds going to support Ukrainian refugees.

Jason Pirodsky

Written by Jason Pirodsky Published on 05.03.2022 14:16:00 (updated on 05.03.2022) Reading time: 3 minutes

Former NHL star Jaromír Jágr turned 50 years old last month, and the Czech hockey legend shows no signs of slowing down. He both owns and plays for the Kladno Knights, based outside Prague, and has organized a special game to cap off the 2021-22 season with all proceeds going to charity to support Ukrainian refugees coming to the Czech Republic.

A regular-season final game between the Kladno Knights and Sparta Prague, originally scheduled to take place at Kladno's ČEZ Stadium on Tuesday, March 8, will instead be moved to Prague's O2 Arena. The change will allow about 15,000 additional spectators to attend the game, with ticket sales going to a good cause.

Tickets to the event are still available from Ticketmaster and Ticketportal, and run for as little as 60 crowns. The game starts at 5:00 p.m. on March 8, with doors at O2 Arena opening at 4:20 p.m. Season ticket holders from Kladno have special sections reserved for them at the new arena.

All proceeds from ticket sales for the event will go towards Ukrainian families currently seeking asylum in the Czech Republic, according to information from the Knights.

Jágr came up with the idea for a charity game to support Ukrainian families last week, and managed to agree with representatives from O2 Arena in Prague to coordinate the game in short time.

"I'm glad that we have agreed that the match will take place in the O2 arena," Jágr said in a press release.

"It is a modern arena where a really large number of spectators can come. When we decided on this event, we wanted it to be in an arena with a large enough capacity so that the help would be as extensive as possible."

During the game at Prague's O2 Arena, there will be other opportunities to donate and support efforts in Ukraine, which was invaded by Russia on February 24. Ticket sales began yesterday evening, and many sections quickly sold out.

"Joint assistance drives both clubs. We have already taken and intend to take several actions to continue to support Ukraine," states Sparta Prague's General Manager Barbora Snopková Haberová.

"The rivalry will put on hold for this match. We want to bring as many fans as possible to our home arena, who will want to help as much as we do."

Despite celebrating his 50th birthday on February 15, Jágr shows no signs of slowing down. Though he typically only plays in Kladno's home games, fans in Prague can expect him to put on a show.

Earlier last month, Wayne Gretzky - the only player in NHL history with more points than Jágr - asked him why he was still playing hockey.

“Every time any reporter asks me this question, I know that guy never loved anything,” Jágr told Gretzky as he laughed the question off.

“When you love something, it’s tough to give up. I still love hockey and I sacrifice so much for it. I cannot give up. I still love it.”

Jágr, who began his hockey career in communist-ruled Czechoslovakia, is also no stranger to Russian aggression. Jágr's grandfather, who he never met, was a farmer who died in prison in 1968 for opposing Soviet collectivization; later that year, Soviet tanks rolled into Czechoslovakia, crushing Prague Spring.

Jágr has worn jersey number 68 throughout his career in remembrance of the year, and continues to wear it for Kladno in his fifth decade of playing professional hockey.

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