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[film promo] “The Nagano Tapes” by The Olympic Channel’s Five Rings Films

March 7, 2018 Leave a comment

After recently coming to terms with Team Canada’s men’s hockey team not wearing gold around their necks at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics after previously winning 3 out of the last 4 tournaments, the last thing I thought I’d want to be reminded of was Canada’s first big letdown in the NHL-era Olympics — their semi-final loss to the Czech Republic in Nagano ’98. For most Canadians (myself included), recalling that game is not like ripping off a band-aid, it’s like dragging a knife down a scar. But what very few of us likely knew was how big of an event it was for the Czech Republic to beat the Russians in the final and win the gold for their country, amidst long standing political strife with Russia. The images of jubilation in the streets of the Czech Republic might be enough to make you feel like if Canada wasn’t meant to win, at least the right alternative team did.

The film includes multiple player and Olympic official interviews, dealing with how the NHL came to participate in the Games, players defecting from Czechoslovakia to play in North America, Marc Crawford talking about not choosing Gretzky for the shootout, discussion of the shootout determining the outcome of high profile games, the dominance of Dominik Hasek in goal throughout the tournament, Team USA trashing their rooms in the Olympic village after losing, and lots more.

You can watch the full length film for free here: https://www.olympicchannel.com/en/features/five-rings-films—the-nagano-tapes/

**PRO-TIP: Be sure to enable subtitles of your native language, as multiple player interviews are conducted in Czech.**

In the meantime, here’s the movie’s official trailer:

Here’s the official press release from the Olympic Channel:

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Press release

“The team no one saw coming. The victory no one will forget.”

Olympic Channel’s Five Rings Films Debuts The Nagano Tapes, the Inspiring True Story of the
Czech Republic’s Shocking Victory in Men’s Ice Hockey at the 1998 Nagano Games

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 – 28 February 2018 – 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 premiered 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.

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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.

Social media:

You can follow the Olympic Channel on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and YouTube, or log on to olympicchannel.com.

Editor’s Notes:

Link to film, trailers and select match replays: https://www.olympicchannel.com/en/features/fiverings-films—the-nagano-tapes/

Media Contacts:

Sarah Bronilla
sarah@vocalnyc.com

Catherine Philbin
catherine.philbin@olympicchannel.com

CBC Doesn’t Care If You Chastise Cherry, Just That You Care Enough to Watch

October 23, 2011 2 comments

[originally post for www.betonhockey.com on October 20/11. Link here]

I’m nearly convinced that if Hockey Night In Canada didn’t feature Coach’s Corner with Don Cherry and Ron McLean, CBC would probably lose hockey broadcasting contracts to superior stations like TSN, Sportsnet, et al, and possibly fold as a network altogether.

"Ron, my head hurts from too much crazy."

The main reason being, if Canadians didn’t have Don Cherry’s over the top, stubborn, biased, bipolar opinions to either champion or string him up for, the public would call for the end of their tax-dollars to fund the public network.

Take his recent comments for example:

On the October 6th broadcast of HNIC’s Coach’s Corner, Cherry (who hadn’t lambasted anyone since last season) went on the offensive, saying Brendan Shanahan is bringing hitting in hockey to an end (citing Scott Stevens in particular, and questioning how many games he would be suspended for after his hits on Paul Kariya, Eric Lindros, etc), which I agree with; made a point about everyone jumping on the link between fighting in hockey and depression/suicide, mental illness, drug & alcohol addiction, etc., saying it’s not just fighters who have these problems (a recent study confirms this) and saying that everyone who’s against fighting should be ashamed of themselves; and then throws three former fighters (Stu Grimson, Chris Nilan, and Jim Thompson) under the bus after apparently quoting George Laraque (according to Ron McLean, who coincidentally has a new book out to promote), calling them pukes and turncoats for not supporting fighting in hockey.

As much heat as he got for the comments, I agree with the first two points (the end of hitting, and issues only happening to fighters).  The third was where things went sideways, and those 3 players he singled out threatened legal action against Cherry for what he said about them.  I’m sure I don’t need to read a Nielsen ratings report to tell that HNIC was heavily viewed and talked out the whole time.

Then on October 8th, Cherry said he only regretted saying the word “puke” while kids were watching, because it’s rude.

Then on the October 15th broadcast, Cherry decided to apologize to everyone, and the group of 3, saying some of his comments were erroneous.  He also mentioned about how awesome all three of the guys are, and probably called them all beauties at some point.  A bit of a turnaround from just being worried about kids hearing him say a bad word on television.  The group then dropped their legal threats.

This is the same guy who makes Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em DVD’s every year, which prominently promote big hits, fights, and a little bit of hockey in between.  Don’s an old-school cat, and that’s all good.  But I find his stance on fighting a little odd.  Cherry’s a guy that will go out of his way to stand up for fighting in hockey, and even go on TV and tell everyone how both Canadians and Americans want to see fights at hockey games, and how it’s a main part of why fans come to or watch hocke games on TV at all.  But while preaching to this UFC, WWE, boxing, fighting-as-entertainment brainwashed crowd, he’s the first to send guys like Arron Asham, Tie Domi, and Donald Brashear to the gallows the minute after they mime some sort of taunt after winning a fight.  So what’s the message Cherry and other hockey “traditionalists” are trying to convey to these “outlaws”, exactly?  Ok toughguys, go out there, hit each other as hard as you possibly can as many times as you can, beat each other’s brains out, entertain bloodthirsty fans and make them scream and cheer, BUT DON’T YOU DARE appear to be happy with yourself afterwards if you emerge victorious.  We won’t tolerate that kind of behaviour.  We all know that they best way to teach a player not to take cheapshots at your star players is to go and fight the other team’s toughguy, who was completely removed from the incident you’re trying to bring justice to.

At the end of the day, here’s all that matters:  the fact that you’re watching.  The fact that you’re talking about Don Cherry, searching about the incident on the internet, have an opinion either way, care enough to formulate an opinion at all.  All these points go to prove valuable when CBC tries to negotiate a new sponsor.  If CBC (or any television station for that matter) cared about whether Don Cherry was a politically correct character fit to appear in front of a national audience, odds are he would have been fired years ago, around the time he wore earrings, put on a Conehead, or bicep-curled an octopus on TV.  Don Cherry is a sideshow, not much different than Sean Avery, or Jeremy Roenick in his latter years.

The monkeys are dancing, so just enjoy the show(or hate it.  Whatever you do, just don’t not watch)!  Besides, I’d take Don Cherry over Pierre McGuire any day.

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