29-06-2008

This week we announce the winner of Radio Prague's annual contest who wins a trip to the Czech Republic. We also read an extract from the winning entry.

Hello and welcome to Mailbox. Today is the day when we announce the winner of Radio Prague’s annual contest. The deadline for your entries passed a week ago, and in the meantime, all six departments of Radio Prague were busy reading and assessing your answers to the question:

Which Czech sportsperson or team has particularly impressed you?

We also asked you to write and tell us what you know about them and why you admire them.

We chose twelve finalists, two from each department. These are the two from the English section:

Yukiko Maki from Japan and Greg MacDonald from Canada.

Congratulations to both of you – we found your entries really interesting. We shall come back to them in a future edition of Mailbox.

We’d like to mention that we also very much liked the entries by: Tom Blaha from the United States, Ashraful Islam from Bangladesh, Nobuya Kato from Japan, Roy Kitson from Great Britain, Li Ming from China, Avinash Premraj from India, Alon Raab from the United States and Mark Schiefelbein also from the United States.

Unlike our monthly “mystery Czech” quizzes, the annual contest involved all six of Radio Prague's language sections, so the overall winner has been chosen from among the answers from all over the world in six different languages. After long discussion the jury agreed to choose:

Jörg Teuschl from Germany.

Congratulations! Jörg wins a week-long stay for two in the Czech Republic, sponsored by OREA HOTELS, one of the Czech Republic’s major hotel chains. There are also valuable prizes for the runners up.

Here is an extract from Jörg’s entry, translated into English. Jörg wrote about the legendary Czech runner Emil Zátopek.

“When I was a small boy we finally saw footage of the Helsinki Olympics in 1952 several weeks after the amazing games were actually held, at the cinema in our village. The star we most admired was Emil Zátopek, who they called the Prague Locomotive. We were really impressed by the way, his face twisted with pain and with his tongue hanging out, he overcame his adversaries, and how every competitor tried to achieve victory with a frightful grimace, just like Zátopek.

“I never thought that I myself would see this miraculous runner live. But three years later when a new stadium in Karlsruhe was officially opened with an athletics meeting the star was Emil Zátopek, who came first in the long distance race with ease. The prize for the winner was the latest model of moped. The famous sportsman was not exactly sure of how to work what was then new technology, so they showed him how and off he set on a lap of honour. To this day I do not know if Zátopek couldn’t stop or simply didn’t want to stop, but in any case the stadium erupted in cheers as he made lap after lap of the circuit. In the end they had to send people out to stop the circling runner; after all, they had a schedule to stick to. To the rapturous applause of 50,000 spectators they led the likable and puckish athlete off the track.

“I will never forget Emil Zátopek’s brilliant successes and that wonderful story from the stadium in Karlsruhe. To this day I have the greatest respect for both his incredible attributes as a runner and his modest demeanour.”

The full transcripts of the winning entries will be available in the competition section on our website. Many thanks to all of you who took part.


 

Another annual competition is over but our monthly quizzes go on. We still have a little time left to repeat for one last time our competition question for June.

Born in 1942, she remains the most decorated Czech gymnast ever, with seven gold Olympic medals, four World Championship titles and eleven gold medals from European Championships, besides many other titles. In the 1990s, this outstanding sportsperson was also president of the Czechoslovak and later Czech Olympic Committee.

You still have a couple more days to send us your answers. The address, as usual, is english@radio.cz or Radio Prague, 12099 Prague, Czech Republic. Four of you, who answer correctly, will receive small gifts from Radio Prague. The winners will be announced a little later, on July 13th because Radio Prague will air a special programme next Sunday. But Mailbox will be back in two weeks time. Until then, happy listening and take care.

29-06-2008