Prague, Czech Republic – Dominik Hasek, one of the greatest legends of Czech ice hockey, said he didn’t rule out running for president once Milos Zeman’s second term expired in 2023.
When asked during an interview for Czech Radio Impuls whether he would consider running for president, Hasek answered: “Why not?”.
“Now I have my job, which I really love and want to do to the fullest. But who knows what will happen in two, three years? Then I’ll decide. Everything is possible”, he said, before adding. “I like to do things that are responsible. I have no doubt that the office of the President is very responsible, so if I were to take it from this side, I would have to be excellent. But the president must have a number of other qualities, so we’ll see”.
Born in Pardubice in then-Czechoslovakia, Dominik Hasek is widely viewed as one of the greatest ice hockey goal-tenders of all time. Known for his unorthodox and highly flexible style, the man nicknamed ‘The Dominator’ is most famous for leading his team to victory in the 1998 Olympic Games in Nagano, Japan, handing the Czech Republic its first and only gold medal.
His performance during the Nagano Olympics, especially in the games against Canada and finals against Russia, turned him into a national hero overnight. Back in Prague, 150,000 cheered and celebrated Hasek and his team under the chant “Hasek to the Castle!” – the seat of the Czech president, then occupied by Vaclav Havel.
During his 16 seasons in the American National Hockey League (NHL), Hasek played for the Chicago Blackhawks, the Buffalo Sabres and the Ottawa Senators. He also won two Stanley Cups with the Detroit Red Wings and six Vezina Trophies as the best goalie in the NHL throughout the 1990’s and 2000’s.
After retiring nearly ten years ago, Hasek, now 54, went into business and currently manages energy drink company Smarty. But he appears to be slowly considering entering the political arena, and spoke during one of the anti-government protests held in Prague calling for the resignation of Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis.
An online poll ran by local iDnes.cz website asked readers if they would like Dominik Hasek as president. At the time of writing, less than 2,000 viewers supported the idea, while 7,500 were against his candidacy.