The Nagano Tapes: Rewound, Replayed & Reviewed (2018)

I was doing some research on the Swedish Men’s Olympic Team when I saw web ad for The Nagano Tapes. I clicked on the ad without knowing what this documentary was about or whether or not it would actually interest me. Once the story started, I couldn’t stop watching because it was such an entertaining look at the games from a different point of view. In 1998, the National Hockey League finally agreed to loan it’s superstars to the Olympic Games. I barely remember the tournament, although I remember the biggest storyline of them all. Canada lost in the semi-final with Wayne Gretzky on the board, thus ruining his only chance at Olympic Gold as a player. On the other side of that thrilling shoot out victory is the Czech Republic team, led by MVP Dominic Hask and Jaromir Jagr. On our side of the pond, no gave these guys a chance or even showed interest in their team or games. With little to no expectations, besides their own goals and dreams, these Czech players quietly started to win games and eliminate all the favourites before they ended up in the Gold Medal game. Against all odds, this team of half NHL players and half elite countrymen, these guys pulled off an upset and captured their one and only Gold Medal in hockey. Despite most of the interviews in Czech, I was excited to watch the old footage of the games I don’t remember. The only moment that really stuck with me after watching this was when the teams arrived at Nagano. When Team Canada got off the busses, the media was in their face hoping to get interviews with every and any one. When the Czech team got off their bus, there was no one there to greet them, except the equipment managers. It was quite shocking that no one gave these guys any time of day, yet when the tournament ended, it was these guys who had fought and earned the right to be called Gold Medalists. 7/10


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