Slovak hockey legend commits suicide

One of the greatest Slovak hockey legends, 37-year old Dušan Pašek, committed suicide on March 14, the Interior Ministry reported on March 15.
Chairman of the Slovak Ice Hockey Association and President of Slovan Harvard, Bratislava's professional hockey club, Pašek was found dead on March 16 at 10:30 inside his office in Clubhotel Slovan, behind a door locked from the inside. He had a gunshot wound to the head, and a gun owned by him was found next to his body, the police reported, excluding the possibility of a second party's involvement.
Pašek left six one-page letters addressed to his wife, children, friends and colleagues, in which he explained his decision. "The letters do not lead to the conclusion that it was not his own decision," said Peter Ondera, the Interior Ministry spokesman.


Slovakia's hockey ambassador. Dušan Pašek's death shocked the entire country.
Ján Súkup

One of the greatest Slovak hockey legends, 37-year old Dušan Pašek, committed suicide on March 14, the Interior Ministry reported on March 15.

Chairman of the Slovak Ice Hockey Association and President of Slovan Harvard, Bratislava's professional hockey club, Pašek was found dead on March 16 at 10:30 inside his office in Clubhotel Slovan, behind a door locked from the inside. He had a gunshot wound to the head, and a gun owned by him was found next to his body, the police reported, excluding the possibility of a second party's involvement.

Pašek left six one-page letters addressed to his wife, children, friends and colleagues, in which he explained his decision. "The letters do not lead to the conclusion that it was not his own decision," said Peter Ondera, the Interior Ministry spokesman. "They expose some of his depressions, he says that all of his ideals were unfulfilled. He apologizes to his relatives and asks them to forgive him his decision."

On Saturday, the day the death was announced, Pašek and his wife Ľuba were supposed to go to a ball in Trenčín. "I saw him for the last time at three in the afternoon," she said. "I went to the hairdresser, and he went to get lunch at the Clubhotel. I called him at five, and we were joking about who was going to drive to Trenčín. But after that, I did not hear from him." The police found Pašek's mobile phone turned off.

Pašek's wife strongly denied that he would take his own life. "Dušan was such a happy man, he would never do anything like that. I still cannot believe that," she said.

The Slovan hockey team learned about Pašek's death shortly before their game at Skalica on March 15. "It was very hard for all of us," said Ernest Bokroš, Slovan coach and Pašek's former teammate from the Czechoslovak national team. "He was so close to us. But the players put their feelings aside and won the game [3-1]."

Bokroš said the trauma of Pašek's death should help the team in a way. "Now the team will try even harder to win the league and to fulfill Dušan's dream," he said.

Dušan Pašek played for Slovan for 11 seasons, including his rookie season of 1978-79 when he won the Czechoslovak championship title on a 'dream team' that included the three Šťastný brothers, famous Slovak hockey players who later played in the NHL.

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