Retired forward Václav Nedomanský has become the second Czech to be inducted into ice hockey’s Hall of Fame. A member of the Czechoslovak world championship winning team in 1972, was the first player from behind the Iron Curtain to defect and play in the NHL. Nedomanský joins goaltender Dominik Hašek, who is the only other Czech to receive this accolade.
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 legendary Czech striker Josef Kadraba has died at the age of 85, the
football club Slavia Prague reported on Twitter on Monday.
Kadraba played for Slavia in the years 1965-1967 helping the club return to the first league.
He played 17 matches for the Czechoslovak national team, scoring 9 goals altogether.
In the 1962 FIFA World Cup he scored a decisive goal against Yugoslavia, helping the Czechoslovak team win the silver medal.
The legendary runner Emil Zátopek and his wife Dana, a javelin thrower, made history at the 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki, when they won altogether four gold medals for Czechoslovakia. The story of one of the world’s most famous sporting couples is the focus of a new film by David Ondříček, which has just started shooting.
Czech hockey coach Luděk Bukač has died at the age of 83.
He led the national team to victory in the 1985 and 1996 world championships in Prague and Vienna and helped the team to a silver medal in the 1984 Olympics in Sarajevo.
The president of the Czech Hockey Association Tomáš Král highlighted Bukač’s contribution to Czech hockey, saying the country had lost a great hockey coach and a great man.
Exactly 50 years ago today, the Czechoslovak national ice hockey team beat the Soviets in the world championships for a second time, setting off a series of celebrations – which soon turned into protests, at times violent, against the ongoing Warsaw Pact occupation. Though a moral victory, in a sense it proved a Pyrrhic one.
Thursday is the 50th anniversary of perhaps the most famous protest in the history of Czech sport, when gymnast Věra Čáslavská looked away while the Soviet anthem was played at the 1968 Olympics. The brave gesture came two months after the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia – and cost the country’s greatest Olympian dear.
Visitors to Prague’s main Olšanské cemetery were treated to a somewhat strange sight last Saturday as Glasgow Celtic and Prague Slavia football fans congregated at one specific grave to the tune of a mournful bagpipe. They were paying homage to a Scotsman, Johnny Madden, a legend for both clubs who coached Slavia Prague for 25 years from just after the start of the 20th century to its third decade and took them to the top in Czech and European football.
Pavel Nedvěd, former Czech national football team captain and the best footballer of his generation, has appeared on a special set of coins, celebrating Czech football legends. Issued by the Czech Mint in Jablonec nad Nisou, the series already features 10 legendary Czech and Czechoslovak footballers, including Antonín Panenka and Josef Masopust. Part of the proceeds from their sale is used to support retired football internationals.