Sport has always played a big role in Czech life. At the time of the national revival in the 19th century, the Sokol gymnastics movement was founded on the idea that a healthy body was a recipe not only for a healthy mind, but also for a civilised nation. In this episode of our series drawing from the archives, we hear recordings from the huge Sokol gathering of 1938 and from the Spartakiáda displays of mass callisthenics that replaced Sokol during the communist period. We also feature an ice hockey report from the Olympics in 1936, as well as Europe’s
The Prague-born tennis legend Martina Navrátilová is today celebrating her 60th birthday. Navrátilová, who received political asylum in the United States at the age of 18 and became a US citizen in 1981, won 18 Grand Slam titles in a glittering career. She holds the records for the most singles and doubles titles in tennis’s open era. Navrátilová has been outspoken on a number of political issues, including lesbian and gay rights.
One of the biggest events in women’s tennis, the WTA Finals, got underway in Singapore on Sunday. Although Czech competitors got off to a losing start, many, including the Martina Navrátilová herself, say the fact that four players from the Czech Republic made it to the finals – is a positive sign for Czech tennis.
The leading Czech men’s tennis player Tomáš Berdych needs a tougher coach, says Martina Navrátilová. The Czech-born legend, who was world number one for seven years, told Czech Radio that Berdych was talented but could be higher up the world rankings than his current fifth place. The winner of 18 Grand Slams, Navrátilová said jokingly that she had more advice for the 29-year-old but would need to be paid to share it.
Staying with tennis, Czech-born legend Martina Navratilová says she wants to work as a trainer but has not received the right offer. The 57-year old winner of 18 Grand Slam events admitted in a newspaper interview on Wednesday that her other engagement might mean that she might only be available as an advisor for some of the big events. Navratilová, who took US citizenship after leaving communist era Czechoslovakia, said she was open to training men or women players.
The year is 1984, and Ivan Lendl plays the winning point against John McEnroe in the final of the French Open in Paris, one of eight Grand Slam singles titles in his career. The 1970s and 80s were period of huge tennis success in Czechoslovakia, and the country put considerable resources into the sport. Unlike most of their compatriots, the country’s top tennis players were able to travel round the world, and when Czechoslovak Radio caught up with the 19-year-old Lendl just before Christmas 1979, it was during one of his rare trips back home:
Czech-born tennis star Martina Navrátilová has said she is free from breast cancer after an operation and radiation treatment. The nine times Wimbledon singles winner was diagnosed with a non-invasive form of breast cancer in February this year. The form can, however, increase the chances of contracting cancer later if it is not dealt with. Navrátilová gave the update on her health at a news conference in the margins of this year’s Wimbledon tournament. She added that she still has the goal of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa by the end of the year.
Czech tennis players Martina Navratilová and partner Jana Novotná have won the women’s doubles title at the French Open in the veterans’ category known as “Women’s Legends”. The 53-year-old Navratilová and 41-year-old Novotná beat the French-Croatian duo of Majoli/Tauziat by a score of 6:4; 6:2. Not long ago Navratilová, who displayed excellent form, revealed to the media she was fighting breast cancer. She is scheduled to play with Novotná again against the younger duo of Martina Hingis and Anna Kurnikova at Wimbledon.
Czech-born tennis star Martina Navrátilová has revealed that she has breast cancer. A routine scan in February revealed the cancer in its early stages with her prospects of recovering considered excellent. Navrátilová, who took up US citizenship, decided to publicize her problem as a warning to other women to get regular scans. She admitted that she was fortunate in discovering the cancer early after failing to go for check ups for several years. The 53 year old tennis legend won the singles Wimbledon title nine times among the series of grand slam titles she collected during a long career at the top.