In just a few short days, David Krejci
will fulfill his childhood dream.
As an aspiring ice hockey player growing up in Sternberk, Czechoslovakia, Krejci always had his sights set on the Olympics.
At 12 years old, he watched the Czech National team return home from the Nagano Olympics with their first-ever gold medal. He knew then that making it to the Olympics would be his lifelong goal.
Now, at only 23 years old, Krejci has achieved just that.
“From that moment I knew that my dream…was to play at least one shift for [the] national team,” the forward said. “Now I get a chance to play for a big tournament and even experience that street in Prague… if we win the gold or do something special.”
Now the only thing he has to overcome is his nerves, as he prepares to play alongside childhood heroes like Jaromir Jagr.
“I’m really excited to meet them and it should be lots of fun,” Krejci said. “[I want to] get to know these guys before the first game and once I put the jersey on, just 100% focus out and do my job up there.”
Although Krejci has represented the Czech Republic in World Junior and World Championship play, this will be the first time Krejci has represented the Czech Republic on the ice in an Olympic capacity.
He’s played three seasons in the NHL, all with the Boston Bruins. Thursday’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning marked his 200th career game. He’s registered 130 points so far.
When asked if he thought the Czech team could defeat Canada, Russia or the United States, Krejci reminded the media that, in this type of tournament, it’s anyone’s game.
“This is not best of seven. This is just one game, you win – you go to the next round… you lose – you’re out,” he said. “That can happen to anybody…one bad game and they’re out… so you never know.”
With only one Bruins game left before he dons the Czech Republic jersey, Krejci said he’s trying to relax and keep it simple so he can take it all in.
“It’s what I dreamed about when I was little, to represent my country and now the dream came true,” he said. “So I’ll do my best just like I’m trying to do here.”